Faceless by Martina Cole

So, I'm on holiday and in one of those moods where I can't seem to spot a book that I fancy reading, so I don't buy one. When it's too late and we are away from any bookshops, I have to trawl my way through the many books that my wife has around her.....and this one looks readable.

No, I didn't love it at first, to the point of not being able to put it down. In fact I started to find it depressing. Then I realised that it wasn't the style of writing that I found depressing, nor was it the story. What was depressing was the way the characters in the novel lived. It was depressing but fascinating to view from the outside - and that is what made the book impossible to put down.

I suppose my opinion was, before reading this book, that prostitution existed, so did pimps and drugs, and that it was a lifestyle somewhere else - almost on another planet. Reading this novel has taught me how the women get where they are, find it impossible to get out of the situation and how easily they can fall into the 'drugs as a means of control' trap.

There is a storyline to the book. Woman comes out of prison after committing a double murder that she cannot remember (drugs again) but to be honest, I think, for me, the story was secondary to the insight into this lifestyle. I wonder if my wife has any other good books about.....?

Martina obviously enjoys her research and tells the story of a prostitute that she had interviewed who regarded her clients as faceless - hence the title. The prostitute swore that if the same client came back to her after ten minutes, she wouldn't recognise him.

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