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The Family

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  2,781 ratings  ·  158 reviews
Phillip Murphy is a family man. He worships his old mum; he takes care of his siblings who help run his business empire in Southend; he dotes on his two young sons who will one day take over the reins. And then there's his wife and saviour Christine, whom he loves with a vengeance. Christine has always understood this about her husband; it was one of the things that first ...more
Paperback, 496 pages
Published 2010 by Headline Publishing Group (first published October 16th 2008)
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Average rating 3.99  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,781 ratings  ·  158 reviews

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Jul 17, 2012 rated it did not like it
This is probably the worst book I have ever read. The writing was completely awful, there was no character development, and the only suspense and mystery in the whole book was completely predictable by the end of the first 10 chapters (which is not kind of bad, considering it's 156 chapters long and it's marketed as a suspense/thriller novel). I was only thrilled when it was over.

The plot was too simple for a suspense/thriller novel. There were so many little off-shoots that the plot could have
Jane Shambler
Oct 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gangster

Not much to say that hasn't been said already.
Great story, great characters and a nice twist at the end.
Couldn't put it down.
Jul 06, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Before reading The Family I'd previously only read one of Martina Cole's books, Faceless, which I hated (but it was a giveaway with a newspaper). When I recently won a copy of The Family I thought I'd give it a go as it couldn't possibly be worse than Faceless - well, it could and it was.

I hated everything about this book. The characters, several generations of an Essex crime family, are all deeply unpleasant and carry out one atrocity after another. They're superficially glossy and care more
Jun 08, 2013 rated it liked it
This is the first time I've read anything by Martina Cole, and I found myself quickly sucked into what is a very compelling story about gangsters in the East End. Throughout, the novel focuses predominately on the wife of mob boss Phillip Murray, and the transition she goes through from a young and innocent 15 year old girl, to a woman ravaged by drink and drugs. The story is powerfully told, and with each chapter being no longer than 4 pages, it's an easy book to pick up and put down, meaning ...more
May 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
Phillip Murphy is a family man. He worships his old mum; he takes care of his siblings who help run his business empire; he dotes on his two young sons who will one day take over. And then there's his wife and saviour Christine, whom he loves with a vengeance. To Phillip Murphy, family is everything.

Christine has always understood this about her husband. But there is another side to Phillip, and it's a side he never wanted his wife to see. Though even if she did, could she do anything but stand
Jan 04, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is definitely up there as one of the worst books I have ever read. There was no proper character development, and there were complete changes in character relationship with no explanation. Aside from that, the plot was tired - it has been done to death, and Cole has brought nothing new to the table. It was lazy writing at it's absolute worst and I could not be happier to have finished it.
Jul 08, 2012 rated it liked it
A good book but very much reads more as a screenplay at times than a novel.
Aug 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3 1/2 stars. I didn't enjoy all the slang.
Jan 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Read The family before, it was so much better 2nd time around. Brilliant
Nikki Johnson
May 13, 2013 rated it did not like it
This book is probably the worst book I've ever read. Literally. I read "The Graft" when I was a teenager and I thought it was alright, so when I did a book swap with this book, I thought it would be an easy read, but okay.

If I had any kind of interest or respect for Cole, I lost it when I saw the blatant mistake early on in the book where a character changes name completely. Like what?

Also, in this book there is an extract from her future book and she clearly writes the word "noice" instead of
David Roberts
Jun 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I am reviewing the novel The Family by Martina Cole which is an excellent thriller which I bought from a car boot sale. This novel must be one of Martina's best and was the biggest selling hardback novel of the year in the UK in 2010. It's a bit of an epic novel that spans many years and is around 580 pages so is quite satisfying to read. The plot is the main character is Christine who is 15 years at the beginning and she is in a relationship with Phillip who is 21. He is a bit of a crook who ...more
Dec 03, 2013 rated it did not like it
Whoa! Have I read a different novel that this one users rated 3 stars with? This book is horrible! I managed to read 25% of this book and decided that it's not getting better.

I admit I bought the book because of the intriguing cover and because Martina seems to be a famous author, so I gave her a shot.

The book incorporated flashbacks to the past intertwined with the present. It tries (and failed) to have that feel of a historical saga of a crime family. Sorry, but pick me a more serious
Technically speaking, this book is downright awful. The plot is dreadful, the characters are hideously stereotyped and the writing itself is just terrible. Yet, it falls into that 'trashy-reads' category that makes it difficult to stop reading it, however much you despise it. The Family is like one of those really bad straight to TV gangster dramas, you want to switch it off, but once you start watching it, you find yourself wrapped up in the cheesiness of it all. I still refuse to give this ...more
Eleanor Gassman
Jan 26, 2014 rated it did not like it
First Martina Cole book I've ever read. Picked up from a book swap, the plot appealed to me and I thought I should try this author out. I was very disappointed. The writing jarred, the characters were shallow and cliched stereotypes, and the sentiments were very repetitive. I am unlikely to read any more of Cole's books.
Feb 25, 2016 rated it did not like it
Very unusually for me I have given up on this book...but having read to page 316 first I feel I gave it a fair chance! There is no real plot, characters' traits are described repeatedly without actually developing them and the story so far has completely failed to elicit any sense of excitement. Sorry - life is too short!
Feb 24, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting, but not as good as some of Martina's previous books.
Her sense of humour is still evident though, with one particular 'one liner' that made me laugh:
In discussing a lady of indeterminate age, Martina quoted:
"If she gets another face lift she will have a beard"
Jan 05, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not brilliant but not as bad as her some of her others (Faces):( her earlier novels were waaay better than the ones she writes nowadays.
Apr 10, 2011 rated it liked it
i have many of her books and they became very 'samey' but not long started this one and enjoying far!!
~ Cariad ~
As always, I'm in awe...

Loved, loved, loved this audiobook.
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Family is a book full of violence, hatred, fear, crime, love and unforgettable characters.
Christine is feeling smothered by her mother, Eileen's, strict rules and longs to be a part of a family where love is everywhere and where criticism rarely raises its ugly head. She finds this with the Murphy family when Phillip Murphy takes an interest in the very pretty almost sixteen year old Christine.
Christine marries Phillip Murphy, against her mother's wishes. Christine's father says precious
The Book Worm
Oct 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Family is like Mario Puzo's The Godfather on steroids - and with a cheaper language. When you start reading it you enter into an alternative reality where crime and violence are as normal as going shopping or cooking dinner. In the Murphy family they are all criminals in one way or another, bound by a strange code of loyalty and honor - they will go to church on Sundays and then kill, maim, steal and beat from Monday to Saturday.No one is safe from their violence, not even other family ...more
Scott Laight
Sep 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
this was my first time reading one of Cole's books and I was rather impressed.
it's an intriguing and sometimes disturbing book about a woman who unknowingly marries into a family of 'gangsters' and it's fast pace and larger than life characters make it a great page turner. Cole's story and dialogue give it real grit that makes me feel like I'm in the middle of a Peaky Blinders episode!
the reason I didn't give it a 5 is that, for me, the writing was at times a bit simplistic and clichéd and
Jun 22, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I think i'm starting to understand what makes some authors appeal to so many people, when their writing seems to be, hmm, not exactly tip top.. It's the short chapters, the short sentences, and a little bit of reiteration thrown in for those of us with scatty attention spans. You can pick a book up for a short train journey, follow the story along a little further, and close it a few minutes later, without becoming entangled in a lengthly chapter, or confused about where you left off when you ...more
haru .
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 11, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This took me a while to read because although the plot was enticing, the writing is just dire. Cole repeats herself constantly through various characters perspective and i found myself saying 'I know, you've said this twice already.'

The characters, however, do seem to find some whole-fullness as you read further. And I did find myself emotionally invested in certain characters for better or worse.

Unfortunately the repetition of POV and the writing made me reluctant to pick the book up after
Rachel Lewis
Jun 01, 2019 rated it liked it
While the choice of diction and perceived simplicity of the drama series turned me off at the beginning, something kept me reading. Ultimately, I'm glad I did, because about 70% of the way in I truly could not put the book down. I just HAD to know what went down. Also, I ran into some pretty knee-slapping similes along the way ("went over his head like a fart from a giraffe" LOL). Ultimately, I read this book because I got it for free from the backpacking trail, but it still made for some non-TV ...more
I am a Martina Cole fan. Some of her books I find quite graphic and a bit hard to read but I mostly enjoy them.

Now, this book got off to a nice start. I enjoyed meeting Christine and Philip and watching their relationship. It was good to get to know the family. It got a little dull in the middle and then came to a predictable but interesting end.

I do enjoy the short chapters, I honestly don't know why! I have a few more Martina Cole on my bookshelf and I'll look forward to them. This earns a
Sep 10, 2019 rated it liked it
I think venturing into this genre isn't an easy task. Martina Cole has tried her best in this novel to give it an edge and it is felt throughout. I particularly liked the struggle of Christina. Even though it was predictable and tedious at times, I managed to pull through and did not mind the book much. A one time read. I've found worst books that I couldn't even finish. At least I was able to finish this.
Odopa Foods
This was my 2nd time reading one of Cole's books and like the Faceless, I was impressed. Innocent girl getting herself in a situation was similar to my family WITHOUT THE CRIME! The mother pusher who expect her daughter to fulfill her OWN ambition forgotten that the DAUGHTER also might have her own ambition! This is a must read book to all pushy parents and hopefully will realise that THEIR own action destroyed their children.
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Martina Cole was born and brought up in Essex. She is the bestselling author of fourteen novels set in London's gangland, and her most recent three paperbacks have gone straight to No. 1 in the Sunday Times on first publication. Total sales of Martina's novels stand at over eight million copies.

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“didn’t feel the need to broadcast it to the fucking nation.” 0 likes
“people he was paid to visit.” 0 likes
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