Read The Take by Martina Cole Online


Freddie Jackson thinks he owns the underworld when he gets out of prison. He's done his time, made the right connections, and now he's ready to use them. His wife Jackie just wants her husband home, but she's forgotten the rows, the violence, and the girls Freddie can't leave alone. Bitter, resentful, and increasingly unstable, Jackie watches her life crumble while her litFreddie Jackson thinks he owns the underworld when he gets out of prison. He's done his time, made the right connections, and now he's ready to use them. His wife Jackie just wants her husband home, but she's forgotten the rows, the violence, and the girls Freddie can't leave alone. Bitter, resentful, and increasingly unstable, Jackie watches her life crumble while her little sister Maggie's star rises. In love with Freddie's cousin Jimmy, Maggie is determined not to end up like her sister.Families should stick together, but behind closed doors, jealousy and betrayal can fester until everyone's life is infected. And for the Jacksons, loyalty cannot win out. Because in their world you can trust no one. In their world everyone is on the take....

Title : The Take
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780747267676
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 661 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Take Reviews

  • Jacquie South
    2019-05-11 12:30

    Maybe a bit generous giving this 2 stars - it's getting the second star only because, like a terrible train wreck, you want to walk away, but you can't! The whole basis of this book was, for me, awful. The characters were horrible in the extreme, the action violent and shocking, the storyline miserable and predictable, and the actual writing was poor. Cole seems to think that the readers of her book are stupid, as she explains things in the greatest detail, over and over again. We get it!! We really don't need everything spelled out for us!! She also has a very limited vocabulary (other than swearing which she uses in ways I'd never heard before!!) - she needs a thesaurus to find some alternatives for the word 'stunning' for a start ...As I said, I read this just to finish, and to see if my unhappy predictions came to pass (they did). I skimmed through a lot of it, but if you like stories about violent thugs and people with hopless, unhappy, self-destructive lives, you might like this book!

  • Nora Beaman
    2019-05-23 06:24

    I actually had a really hard time getting into this novel. I'd seen the BBC film version starring Tom Hardy and was intrigued with the characters so I picked up the book. Despite taking awhile to get into once I did I couldn't put this book down. The film and book couldn't have been more different and I actually preferred the novels ending. Freddie Jackson is that quintessential character that you love to hate. He's a drug snorting beer guzzling philandering murdered but you can't help turning the page to see what he'll do next. Jimmy is sort of the stereotypical straight man to begin with but of all the characters I think he has the largest change in the novel. The rest of the assorted characters Maggie, Jackie, Ozzy, Pat, little Freddie are all such large personalities themselves it makes for a very engaging book that I would highly recommend.

  • Eddie Owens
    2019-05-05 10:48

    I have very mixed feelings about this, so let's be positive and start with the good things.Good things- The author really understands her characters and spends a lot of time in their heads. This allows us to understand their motivations, simple as they may be.This is a strong family drama that focuses entirely on relationships, and some of those are quite interesting.Bad things - Constant head hopping and multiple POV's in the same paragraph or page. Lots of time is spent re-reading passages to work out whose head you are in. NB: A decent editor should have pointed this out to the author.The dialogue is excruciatingly unrealistic. The author doesn't use contractions, so the sentences sound completely false. This is the same as Lynda La Plante. I suspect that Martina may have used Prime Suspect as her template for writing and thought that that was how to write dialogue. Again, where was the editor?There is no real plot, so if you aren't interested in lots of swearing and EastEnders type family rows, it's not for you.An interesting point to note is the huge amount of misogyny in the book. If it was only from the male characters who are meant to be misogynists then that would be fine. But the narrator describes every woman in totally sexual and demeaning terms. "Cracking little bird", "bit of strange", "good tits" and it never stops. Of course the author is a woman so maybe it's allowed, like black people using the N word.Essentially, this is a screenplay that has been written as a novel. But it held my attention long enough to read over 500 pages. However, I won't be reading any more, because I suspect that all of the books will be the same.

  • Stan Armiger
    2019-05-04 09:28

    I had a love hate relationship with this book, sometimes I could not put it down and and then I would find myself scan reading passages. This occured when the author to me seemed to repeat herself at length on describing characters and relationships and this caused me to think "I know all that, just get on with it.' Otherwise not a bad read.

  • Linda
    2019-05-06 08:47

    Not as good as others she has written, tends to repeat herself in places.

  • Fergie
    2019-05-09 14:25

    The Take is a page turner from the onset. Freddie Jackson is the kind of antagonist who keeps the reader guessing. You never truly know what this insatiably unstable character that Martina Cole created will do next. At one step, you realize what the character is capable of, yet, his debauchery, knowing no bounds, becomes more and more surprising as you read. You’re left in awe of the power of Cole’s scenes as the flawed characters make their way through the story, causing unending debris in their wake. Starting in 1984, this is a story of the London underworld, filled with violence, lewd language, and an overall excess of depravity. The world is foreign to all but a few readers; it’s so graphic and pulling in nature, that despite my best efforts to do so, I found I could not put this 600 page novel down (I read it within 4 days).Freddie’s wife is Jackie, an alcoholic wreck, who the reader quickly learns is incapable of stability. The stable existence and likability that Jackie lacks is ingrained in the character of her sister, protagonist, Maggie. Jackie is yin to Maggie’s yang. In much the same way, Cole carves a place for Freddie’s counterpart -- his cousin Jimmy. As a couple, Maggie & Jimmy accomplish what Freddie and Jackie cannot, and the resentment that comes from that fact is the force that keeps this book in motion. The story was even made into a compelling British miniseries staring Tom Hardy & Charlotte Riley.Maggie & Jimmy are connected to the same underworld dealings that Freddie & Jackie are, but they’re able to stay above the fray of what that world is capable of internally doing to people of weaker and less charitable natures. Because Martina Cole paints Maggie & Jimmy with more tender attention, readers may find themselves forgiving them for benefiting and being a part of such a base world.I loved this book despite it not being the type of novel I generally gravitate towards. The only complaint I had was toward the end of the story when Jimmy’s reaction to a revelation appeared out of line for his character. In fact, Maggie’s response was about as frustrating. I wanted the characters to respond as I had come to expect them to, not as Cole chose them to. Despite this, the book was a raucous romp into an exciting world -- not one I would ever wish to be a part of personally, but certainly one entertaining enough to visit.

  • Rai
    2019-05-18 14:42

    Sexism, even if it's deliberate sexism as I presume it is in this book, is fucking irritating. Women are constantly insulted and abused. A prostitute is raped and murdered? Oh who cares? She basically begged for it! Maggie is raped by her sociopath brother-in-law? Guess who's to blame there! Wives are expected to get beaten, get cheated on and do nothing but keep their mouths shut. A man can sleep around all he wants, father as many 'outside' children as he wants but if a women even looks at another man she can expect to be murdered. I know this was all mostly intentional; giving us an insight into how these sort of men actually think but it still made me sick to my stomach reading it. None of these characters are likeable at all, except for maybe Maggie. She has flaws like the rest of them but her flaws aren't as serious, sociopathic or destructive and she has the shittiest luck on the planet. Rape, death of her child, destructive family; I felt so sorry for her. The less said about the characters of Freddie, Jackie and Freddie Jackson Jr. the better. All three characters are vile, despicable human beings. I tried to feel some sympathy for Jackie but I just really couldn't. It's also annoying that every single female character revolves around her husband or boyfriend. They're nothing without them and have no lives of their own. This is the 21st century. This book was written in 2006 for fucks sake, not the 70s. Cole is one of the worst writers I've read in a while. The only style she has to speak of is a tendency to repeat herself and treat the reader like an idiot. Yes, Ms. Cole, I can remember what happened two chapters ago, thank you; there's no need to keep reminding me. She has no idea what characterisation or character development are. Her characters don't learn or grow; they're the same from start to finish. That said, I did actually like the plot and this book would have probably gotten a higher rating if written by a better writer; someone who can develop characters better and leave out an obscene amount of sexist bullshit. 2.5 / 5 (generously rounded to 3)

  • Ryan
    2019-05-27 13:29

    I was instantly scavenging for anything with actor Tom Hardy in it after seeing his extraordinary performance in "Bronson" and his scene-stealing part in Christopher Nolan's "Inception". So soon after finding out about the four-part mini-series called "The Take" starring him, I immediately sought out to watch it. I loved every episode, and was blown away by Hardy's performance in it. I couldn't help but read the novel of the same name. It pretty much had the same effect on me as the mini-series, it was very intense and I couldn't put the book down for long periods of time. I actually didn't want it to end, but when it eventually did, I couldn't have been more satisfied. Martina Cole's writing was incredibly gripping and fast-paced, I couldn't get enough of it. Highly recommended for anyone into great crime novels and I would definitely check out the TV series soon after reading it.

  • Mey
    2019-05-25 09:44

    Absolutly addictive! This is the second book I have read of Martina Cole's, and it looks like am becoming a fan of hers. Excellent book. Londoners underground crime... love it! looking in to Martina's next book to read!Update-Just watch the DVD. The book was excellent and I must admit I had didn't think a film would do it credit. Well I was wrong! The DVD of four part series was excellent. Am glad this film did Cole proud. Best to read this book first then watch the film. Ten Stars for this book now ***********

  • Leonie Byrne
    2019-05-10 07:47

    Another of my favourite Martina Coles ok I may seem weird for saying it but I love the ones that shock you, the ones that deal with issues you don't want to face up to in the real world. The things we brush aside and pretend like they don't happen. The take has all of this and more if it was a film it would have the tag line 'some viewers may find some scenes upsetting'

  • Catherine Yarwood
    2019-05-06 14:38

    The cover of this book describes it as a cross between Eastenders and the Sopranos. It kind of is like a 10-hour long episode of Eastenders, just darker and more violent without some comedy gingers for light relief.This book is 608 pages of unrelenting misery.The book starts on the day that Freddie Jackson is released from prison in 1984 after a six year stint. He is immediately portrayed as a c**t. Then we spend the rest of the book watching him destroy everything and everyone around him.He lives where he was raised, on a council estate in East London, where it seems everyone is involved in crime. We meet his younger, less mentally-unstable cousin Jimmy, Freddie’s wife Jackie and Jackie’s sister (and Jimmy’s love interest), Maggie. These four are the main characters - though there is almost a dickensian list of characters popping up. I struggled at points to remember who was who. Maggie and Jimmy are the ‘good guys’ and Freddie and Jackie are the ‘bad guys’, though Jackie is mainly a tragic character destroyed by her addiction to Freddie and drugs.In the novel’s opening pages, Cole has chosen a quote from Mary Leapor’s An Essay on Woman about how women are treated like shit once they have had their first flush of youth, and are generally seen as weak, and this theme echoes throughout. The women put up with an unimaginable amount of crap. They are raped, beaten and murdered. Whilst it became over-stated, I appreciated the message that society often sees prostitutes as not-quite-human and therefore not subject to the same respect and rules as the rest of us (like not being murdered). Once you begin paying for women’s bodies, their bodies become someone else’s property and are thus treated as an object or status symbol. However, one question I found myself asking was about the portrayal of the women who were ‘good’ characters you were meant to root for, and the ‘bad’ women who caused mayhem and trouble. The good women (particularly Maggie) were always drawn as pretty, well-put together, slim, nice hair and keeping a tidy home. The women who didn’t conform were big, fat, angry, untidy, lazy and drawn in a disgusting, nasty way. My question is, if this is a novel that claims to be on the side of women, why is it subscribing to the belief that in order for a woman to be a success, she must be pretty, thin and good at cooking and cleaning? Any other state is to be a deviant.I thought there was a skillful creation of the world of 80s and 90s crime. Cole used vernacular without explaining it - it was only through its regular use that it would suddenly click and you would go ‘oooh I see’. There were some parts of this book that built up pace and tension before darting through another door and giving you a shock twist. I gasped out loud in a coffee shop, and was far too engrossed to care.It was a bit too long, and too miserable, for my taste. But I could see that it was a strong contender in its genre. If you like crime, grit, Eastenders and thrills - this would be a great book for you.

  • Dianne
    2019-05-03 14:29

    A good read about sibling rivalry set in the criminal underclass of East London. Freddie Jackson leaves prison having made contact with a major criminal Ozzy who runs his empire from within the gaol. Acting as Ozzy's lieutenant Freddie chooses his young cousin Jimmy to act as a go-between because Jimmy has no criminal record. But over time Jimmy gains Ozzy's respect and trust. The two gangsters are married to sisters. Freddie's wife is dependant upon drink and drugs and very jealous of her sister. While the world they live in has a strong moral code - loyalty - care for families - honesty in dealings with superiors (not the general public), retribution is swift and violent. Jealousy and betrayal erode the family bonds with severe consequences.This is a violent world and the language is authentic - the rhyming slang is used appriately and naturally. I only wish I had used a notebook at the start to collect all the phrases.Reading an interview with Martina Cole in the Guardian, this is a culture she knows well.

  • Elaine
    2019-05-24 08:39

    Freddie Jackson thinks he owns the underworld when he gets out of prison. He’s done his time, made the right connections, and now he’s ready to use them. His wife Jackie just wants her husband home, but she’s forgotten the rows, the violence, and the girls Freddie can’t leave alone. Bitter, resentful, and increasingly unstable, Jackie watches her life crumble while her little sister Maggie’s star rises. In love with Freddie’s cousin Jimmy, Maggie is determined not to end up like her sister. Families should stick together, but behind closed doors, jealousy and betrayal can fester until everyone’s life is infected. And for the Jacksons, loyalty cannot win out. Because in their world you can trust no one. In their world everyone is on the take.

  • Kristen
    2019-05-02 11:34

    This was an exhausting book, but I loved it nonetheless. I originally saw the BBC miniseries but this book builds on so much that I'd have to say the miniseries only has about 25% of the novel along with a COMPLETELY different ending. They're both worth checking out if only because the meaning and tone changes so drastically. The character of Freddie Jackson is probably the worst person in history, yet there's always his attempts to rationalize everything. In fact all the characters rationalize their actions, allowing you to understand their motivations whether you agree or not. They're all somewhat awful people (except for Maggie but she's practically a saint) but you can't help but get swept into the soapy insanity that's presented. The ending made me say "Holy s***" out loud, only the second time that's happened! I'm interested in reading a few more Cole books because she depicts London as is and from a woman writer to go so awful with her characters...says something!

  • Dark-Draco
    2019-05-01 06:47

    Hmmmm * sigh *.I seem to be going through a spell of trying new authors and really wishing I hadn't. And this turned out to be another that I gave up reading.I don't mind reading about violence and mayhem. I don't mind cruel, vicious characters. I don't even mind reading prose written in 'accents'. What I do mind is being introduced to a huge cast of characters within a short time and trying to piece together who they are. And I want to have something to like about them. Five chapters in and I was slightly confused, reading on automatic and found myself barely interested in what happened next. A shame, because I really wanted to like this and was in the mood for a crime thriller. Never mind - so much to read and so little time - on to the next!

  • Raymond
    2019-04-27 11:32

    A reasonable story fairly well expressed, but spoilt by:Excessive repetition, do we need to be told twenty plus times that she is a drunken alcoholic who loves her husband (who hates her) and hates her sister (who loves her) – skimmed over sections as these had been covered numerous times before.Profanity is so extreme that it loses the shock effect, numbed by constant expletives, eventually one ends up not being aware of them.If you have read a number of Martina Cole books, they all follow a similar thread and this one almost adheres to the template.

  • Donna
    2019-05-18 12:21

    I have read all of Martina Cole's novels. There is no point reviewing them all because they follow a similar plot. However The Take is with out doubt my favourite. As gritty as grit could ever be. Characters you despise. Characters you should despise. Women you love, Women you pity. Women you recognise. But the men are always responsible for the carnage. Freddy and Jimmy Jackson are two of Cole's best characters. Tom Hardy played Freddy to a tea in Sky One's version. However son't watch it before you read the book as they change the ending.

  • Mel Horne
    2019-05-25 14:49

    I read this as part of World Book Night. I found it quite hard going and it took a long time before the characters captured my interest. I found the constant crude language a distraction and it took a while to ignore it and flow with the story . I am pleased that World Book Night made me try something new, but am not sure I will be rushing out to get the next Martina Cole book.

  • Emma
    2019-05-21 12:23

    I am a huge fan of the tv adaptation of the take so I was really excited to read the book. It was just what I expected, yes it's not a work of lyrical art, it's gritty and it's written as in you are actually in London not just looking from the outside. I did skip some bits out of repetition and the swearing shocked even me (and my family are bad!) but overall I really enjoyed it.

  • Rebecca
    2019-05-23 14:24

    Unlikable characters doing horrible things.How was this a best seller? The book is choppy, broken up into short sections with constantly changing POVs. That might have been okay, but everyone is terrible with the possible exception of Maggie, and even she makes some bad choices. Not recommended.

  • Tim Rae
    2019-05-10 06:31

    This book has been adapted for tv, the tv version is second 2 none if u've read the book& watched the 4 part drama currently gettin screened on freeview part 3 is tonite or morro, if u can watch it, as per Tom hardy(Freddie Jackson) steals the show with his amazing performance!!!!!!!!

  • Diane
    2019-05-19 12:47

    Awful, just awful. Written in the vernacular of a fifteen year old illiterate. The first book i've tried of hers and the last.

  • Nicola Terry
    2019-05-06 09:46

    Not one her best books, i found it quite boring in most parts and very nearly gave up on it.

  • Ellen
    2019-05-20 08:41

    It was a well set out book. I was really into it. Then I watched the drama on telling. That was shit.

  • Zena
    2019-05-23 09:44

    Very graphic violence. Lots of swearing, a good read but bit disturbing. Wouldn't read another one of her's because of this.

  • Sooz (P.Turners Book Blog)
    2019-05-07 11:45

    I attended the Newcastle Noir event last weekend and I took only ONE book with me, thinking that I would be able to finish that in a weekend. Less than 24 hours later and book finished, I needed my next hit. Still suffering from my book hangover after reading THE KILLER, I was ready to jump back into the underground world of gangsters, guns and law breaking.Off to a local discount book store and less than 10 minutes later I had THE TAKE in my hands. I was well aware of Martina Cole's work, however I had not read any of her work. Part of my Christmas gift was her latest release; BETRAYAL and I have yet to sit and read this.First thing I loved about this book is how down right filthy and real it is. I don't mean filthy as in sex, but filthy with language. There was an eff here, a jeff there and Cole doesn't shy away from using the c-word throughout. But what Cole has the skill of is being able to use these words in context and it gives to the story. She is not just using these words as fillers. As a reader, I was on a rollercoaster ride through the Jackson family life and I was horrified at some of the behaviour the family was subjected to and how each member of the family was forced to react - some in very contrasting ways. Throughout the story, I felt nearly every emotion going - I was happy, sad, angry and scared and this is what kept me turning the pages, I didn't know where the next page would take me. The only reason I left off that last star is....and this is my own personal reading style... is that the book reads a little too fast and erratic for me. Within the first few pages, the characters and plot had advanced by 10 years! I'm not for one minute saying this as a criticism of Cole's writing, I thoroughly enjoyed her writing - it was just the pace for me. I sometimes found it difficult to either keep up, or confuse myself thinking I had missed something crucial as we were down so far down the line. If violence, action, lots of swearing, blood, drugs, prostitutes and warring families all laced with a hint of humour are your thing - then this book is for you!

  • Ana
    2019-05-04 08:22

    There is a distinctive and original tones. It really captures the violence and degradation of the criminal world...

  • Pat Osment
    2019-05-12 08:42

    A colourful view of Gangland written with earthy language as always.I enjoyed the book on the whole but at times the author repeated herself a lot and slowed the pace of the book down.

  • Read On!
    2019-05-04 08:41

    Set in London during the mid 80s, this novel spans 3 decades.The story centres around young sociopathic Freddie Jackson, who has just served his time in prison, but while in there he was taken under the wing of mega infamous gangster Ozzy. It is unlikely Ozzy will ever get out so he needs someone to run his organised criminal empire while he is inside. He believes Frankie is up to the job and entrusts him with the operations of his underhand businesses on the outside.Frankie has a younger cousin, Jimmy, who idolises and loves him like a blood brother. Frankie thinks Jimmy would be the perfect partner to help him run Ozzy's dealings. Jimmy accepts and get's half of all revenue.However, though the two of them are both involved in crime, they are both very different characters. Frankie gets things done by using violence without thinking, whereas Jimmy is intelligent and only relies on physical force as a last resort.Frankie is a bastard. He degrades and makes a laughing stock of his wife, with his blatant promiscuity and physical disregard for her. He shows no interest in his daughters and barely comes home to his hovel of a council house, of which he blames it's untidy state on his alcoholic, drug abusing wife, Jackie. He spends his huge earnings on ostentatious cars, gambling, women, drugs and drink. Next to no financial support is given to his wife and children.Jimmy on the other hand, falls in love with Jackie's younger sister, Maggie. Marries her and invests his money in buying themselves a nice house. A few years down the line he sells the house, makes a profit and purchases an even bigger home. He gives his wife money to start up her own beauty salon business which she runs and soon expands. Jimmy and Maggie's life go from strength to strength.All this, via his spies, gets back to Ozzy in prison and he thinks that Jimmy should be the one running the operations and gradually puts Jimmy in the driving seat.All the while Jackie is becoming increasingly jealous of her sister's life. Frankie is gradually realising that he has been put in the passenger seat of running things which does not go down well. Fractiousness soon starts between the cousins and two sisters of which could be of such serious proportions that the entire family and Ozzy's realm could implode.I enjoyed this book. Though the premise of the book is on organised crime I think it focuses more on behind the scenes, such as the family life and what occurs in the homes of Frankie and Jimmy.For instance, the shockingly brutal character that is Frankie, his behaviour towards his wife has shaped her into the hard faced alcoholic bitch she has become, this in turn has caused a total lack of respect from her daughters, which sends her into an ever increasing spiral of bitterness and self loathing.Whereas Maggie who is loved dearly by Jimmy is a caring and gentle woman who's nieces often come to her home when their mother becomes out of control. She runs her own businesses which gives her a feeling of independence and even employs her nieces to ensure they stay out of trouble. She cares for them as if they are her own. None of this does anything to placate the seething, bubbling hatred that is just under, sister, Jackie's skin.As you expect from Cole's novels, there is going to be violence. But I would say in this story, family features more predominantly , interspersed with acts of brutality relating to criminal business operations.If you are looking for a book about organised crime that also revolves around family ties and relationships and the respect demanded by gangsters and those that are in their orbit, then this makes for an intriguing read.

  • Ian McCall
    2019-05-27 13:28

    This book was a long, hard read. Quite harrowing in fact but found it hard to put down