Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Martina Cole launches REVENGE in London

 We have a special celebration as Martina Cole, one of Britain’s biggest selling crime-writers launches REVENGE, her twentieth published thriller which finds its way onto bookshelves and eReaders on Thursday 24th October 2013. Many of us can not believe that she has been a published novelist for 20 years; and for Headline Publishing and her huge readership - she is a workhorse, a book a year, and each one a tough, tough gem.

The Shots team of Mike Stotter, Ayo Onatade, Mike Ripley and I headed to London’s West End to attend the launch party for her 20th novel Revenge, courtesy of Headline Publishing and Martina Cole. We all know how excellent her literary parties are, so we dressed appropriately for the occasion [well I brought my Heisenberg Pork Pie Hat]. Joining us were several writer / critics including Chris Simmons, Maxim Jakubowski and his charming wife Dolores - and many others including her agent Darley Anderson. There was the Headline Editorial team, her Film and TV colleagues including independent producer / director Barry Ryan and his team, her close family and friends.

I love to celebrate great writing, though like Stephen King, there can be some snobbery when it comes to success, but I can assure you that when it comes to portraying the criminal underworld, few do it with such panache as Martina Cole. Though it’s her readers that count, and they are a loyal breed.

Her latest work REVENGE is no exception –

Michael Flynn is untouchable in a world of power, money and violence. He fights for what he wants and he takes it, whatever the cost. He learns the rules of the Life from the best and when his mentor, legendary Face Patrick Costello, is taken out, no one questions that Michael Flynn is his natural successor. For Michael, loyalty - and crime - pay.

Michael rises to heights beyond anything the criminal underworld has seen. He owns everyone and he rules his empire with an even but fierce hand. No one would dare challenge him.

Then the unthinkable happens.

Perhaps Michael Flynn is not so untouchable after all, and he must learn that...


Apart from her novels, she has several of them adapted for TV as well for the theatre and even presents, true crime on TV .

The clip below is an interview with the Guardian’s Erwin James

Martina talks about Patrick Prior’s production of Dangerous Lady at Theatre Royal Stratford, East London

The launch party for REVENGE was held at the CAFÉ ROYAL’S  POMPADOUR SUITE with a balcony that overlooked Regent Street – in the heart of London’s West End, a far cry from Martina’s humble beginnings. The room was heaving, and everyone in great from celebrating a wonderful and generous writer. Jane Morpeth, Headline Publishing’s Managing Director welcomed us all to the Café Royal and gave a warm and heartfelt introduction to Martina Cole. Jane explained the help she gives new writers starting out, the work with women in the prison system, and that on Thursday, she will be involved with the ITV-3 / CWA Daggers Hall of Fame. Jane also indicated Martina is 2013’s Reading Agency’s Advocate – as she is passionate about reading as it helped her get out of the tough world she found herself in – which she discusses below 

As ever, there was a long round of applause as Martina was asked to come to the microphone, and in her modest style, she had a very short speech which was basically a thank you to her publisher Headline and her agent Darley Anderson – both who she is strongly loyal to – and of course her family and friends and her readers who she treats as friends. 

I managed to record her speech in gonzo-style. It’s less than 60 seconds, and if you wait to the end, you’ll see the gathering who came to celebrate the launch of REVENGE at London’s Café Royal.

One thing I admire about Martina Cole is her unpretentious approach to crime writing, and how despite the fame and profile she has attained; she remains the same woman I met so many years ago. 

She also epitomizes an observation I have found in my many years of interviewing and reviewing the writers that make up the darkest edges of the genre. The darker the imagination, the more generous and amusing, as well as modest [and grounded] is the writer, in my experience.

So with the gathering raising their glasses to Martina Cole, it was hard to spot her as she was rarely in one place at any one time, as she wanted to welcome everyone, and thank them from coming to see her.

So if you’re new to the work of Martina Cole, Shots eZine have organized a competition to coincide with the release of REVENGE on Thursday 24th October 2013, in which we are giving away a signed copy of REVENGE to one lucky reader.

All you have to do is answer the following question –

Martina Cole’s debut novel DANGEROUS LADY was recently staged at the Theatre Royal, Stratford East London, can you name Maura Ryan’s brothers?

[A] Walter and Jessie
[B] Geoffrey and Anthony
[C] Bill and Ben
[D] John and James

If you need a hint – click here

All you have to do is email the answer together with your name and postal address to and ensure you place ‘MARTINA COLE REVENGE’ in the subject line of your email.

Terms and conditions for the Martina Cole competition

• Closing date for entries is Sunday 3rd November 2013 12:00:00 AM
• All correct entries will be entered into a prize draw and the first correct answer picked at random on 3/11/2013 will be declared the winner of the signed book
• The winner will be notified by email within 14 days of the promotion closing date and is required to accept their prize by email or phone call within 14 days of notification.
• In the event of non-acceptance within the specified period, the promoter reserves the right to reallocate the prize to the next randomly drawn correct and valid entry.

• The winner will be notified within 28 days of the closing date. No responsibility can be accepted for lost or misplaced entries
• The prize is non-transferable and there is no cash alternative
• Only one entry per person
•Incorrect or illegible answers or entries received after the entry date will not be entered into the prize draw
• The judges decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into
• No geographical restrictions apply

Good Luck, but if you don’t win, you should still explore the work of Martina Cole which can be purchased from the Shots Bookstore Here and we have a special offer with over 50% off the retail price of REVENGE by clicking here

Martina Cole Bibliography
Dangerous Lady [1992]
The Ladykiller [1993]
Goodnight Lady [1994]
The Jump [1995]
The Runaway [1997]
Two Women [1999]
Broken [2000]
Faceless [2001]
Maura's Game [2002]
The Know [2003]
The Graft [2004]
The Take [2005]
Close [2006]
Faces [2007]
The Business [2008]
Hard Girls [2009]
The Family [2010]
The Faithless [2011]
The Life [2012]
Revenge [2013]

Martina is on the road so if you’d want to get a book signed click here

More information available from

Shots Ezine would like to thank Headline Publishing for the signed copy of REVENGE for the Shots / Martina Cole Competition, and as always thanks to Jane Morpeth, Darley Anderson and Martina Cole for their assistance in this article, and the invitation for the Shots Team to the launch of REVENGE, and what a swell party that was!

Photos © 2003 - 2013 A S Karim

The above photo of Martina Cole and the late Herbert Lom was taken at Crimescene 2003 and there is an amusing story behind this photo, click here to read it

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