Hard Girls – Martina Cole

Hard lives, hard lessons. It’s murder on the streets.

Danielle Crosby had a body to die for. A body she sold to the highest bidder. But she ended up paying for it with her life.

When a prostitute’s body is found lifeless, mutilated and brutally raped, DCI Annie Carr has never seen anything like it and never wants to again. Kate Burrows, retired DCI and now consultant, has plenty of experience when it comes to murder – after all she caught the Grantley Ripper and broke the biggest paedophile ring in the South East. She is determined to help put the killer bars. But whoever it is won’t be easily caught. And when another girl’s body is found, even more horrifically disfigured than the last, it’s clear the killer is just warming up.

In a ruthless world where everyones out for them selves, Annie and Kate must dig deep if they hope to catch a callous serial killer who knows no limits and makes no mistakes. For some, prostitiution is seriously big business. But how many people will pay the ultimate price?

In this book we see the return of old favourite Kate Burrows, a character from earlier books, The Ladykiller and Broken. She’s still living with Patrick Kelly although due to his owning the properties where the girls are being killed as a silent partner causes them to split up. The book does focus a lot on their relationship, a bit too much at times, it got kind of repetitive, if Cole had reduced this it would have made a much better book.

Told in the third person narrative, the dialect used takes you straight to the streets of East End London. If a little old fashioned by now, surely the slang used has changed over the last 6- 8 years, in fact I know it has.

Nice short chapters made this book easy to fly through, one thing I love about books like this, so easy to read, can pick it up at anytime. Not too many characters to get confused.

I did like this book, Cole writing of late has been quite sub standard but this book proves she’s back on form. If you haven’t enjoyed Cole’s books lately then give this one a go, you won’t be disappointed.

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