“A body is discovered with the dismembered parts of six victims stitched together, nicknamed by the press as the ‘Ragdoll’.
Assigned to the shocking case are Detective William ‘Wolf’ Fawkes, recently reinstated to the London Met, and his former partner Detective Emily Baxter.
The ‘Ragdoll Killer’ taunts the police by releasing a list of names to the media, and the dates on which he intends to murder them.
With six people to save, can Fawkes & Baxter catch a killer when the world is watching their every move?”
Ragdoll by Daniel Cole is a book which has been sat on my bookshelf for some time now giving me the eye. I have been desperate to read this intriguing tale for such a long time, and I have finally managed to do so! Let’s face it, regular readers of the blog will know that I like my crime fiction with lots of bodies and blood. In fact, the gorier, the better. So on hearing that the killer creates a ragdoll made of severed limbs and various other body parts….well, there was no way I could pass this one by!
Detective William ‘Wolf’ Fawkes is a rather notorious figure in the MET. His career hit an all-time low during the trial of London’s most feared serial killer, The Cremation Killer. After taking several years to himself Wolf is back in the midst of the action and facing down a new killer. Except this one has provided a list of the intended victims and the dates they will die, alongside a macabre ragdoll which, coincidentally, points with a long-dead finger to Wolf’s newly leased apartment. Wolf and his former partner, Detective Emily Baxter are on the case but will they be able to save the victims before it’s too late…?
I really wanted to like both Wolf and Emily Baxter but I’m afraid neither managed to provoke much of a reaction in me, I neither liked them or loathed them. Out of the two characters, Emily Baxter was the harder to like as she came across as quite needy at times and her desire to be more than colleagues with Wolf was quite stomach churning. But that’s me, I would happily go without a romantic interest in the books I read for, well, all eternity if I could. Fawning over a bloke, particularly a bloke like Wolf, made her feel quite cringe-worthy to me. This may be due to Ragdoll being the first book in the series. There have been several occasions before where I haven’t like the lead characters in book one, only to warm to them as the series progresses. I’m excited to see what Cole is planning next, and the good news is we don’t have to wait long. Hangman, the second Ragdoll book, will be published in March 2018!
What I absolutely loved and what I have to commend the author on, is the fabulously inventive and original ways in which he killed off a number of the characters. Reading this book and discovering how the next murder was carried out was like catnip to me. I had to carry on reading, I became quite feverous wanting to know what ingenious way the killer was going to strike next. Absolutely blinking brilliant from start to finish and I couldn’t stop reading. I also enjoyed how Cole linked the past and the present, making sure Wolf was fully aware that he was involved in this process, whether he liked it or not!
Would I recommend this book? Yes, I would. This is a must read if you’re a fan of grisly crime fiction (a bit like me really!). I can’t wait to see where Cole will take his characters next, particularly with that chilling last line of Ragdoll. Incredibly compelling, highly inventive and full of surprises. I very much enjoyed Ragdoll.
Four out of five stars.
Ragdoll by Daniel Cole was published in the UK by Trapeze Books on 19th October 2017 and is available in hardcover, paperback, eBook and audio formats (the following Amazon links are affiliate links)
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Daniel Cole has worked as a paramedic, an RSPCA officer, and most recently for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. Ragdoll is his first novel. He lives in Bournemouth, England.
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