Holiday readers prepare for annual Martina Cole ordeal

THE UK’s once-a-year book readers are preparing to read about tough-talking East End crime families.

Grittier than actual grit

Grittier than actual grit

Martina Cole’s novels about people who live outside the law facing heartbreaking decisions about love and loyalty are being flown all over the world, as grudging afterthoughts stuffed into hand luggage.

Donna Sheridan of Harrogate said: “I like how her novels are always about a girl who marries a smooth-talking criminal who turns out to be a wife-beater and then finds herself attracted to his rough-and-ready brother.

“By keeping description to a minimum and making the plotlines insultingly obvious, Cole makes it easier for me to close my eyes and imagine it as an ITV drama starring Martine McCutcheon and the unshaven bloke from Corrie.”

Cole’s work will join books by Dan Brown and various permutations of JK Rowling to be read by swimming pools and on beaches by people who hate the written word.

Father-of-two Stephen Malley said: “When people ask my favourite books, I always say To Kill A Mockingbird, Lord of the Flies and Moonfleet, all of which I’ve only read because they made us at school.

“When I fly out to Cancun I like to struggle my way through an Andy McNab.

“He sensibly limits the vocabulary to an Alsatian-friendly 800 words, plus his books include technical descriptions of what depleted-uranium bullets do to the human body, and don’t have any bloody women in them.

“I read one every year, and actually it’s not that bad. I always think I might read another but then I go home and, thank God, the telly’s on.”