Wednesday 22 February 2017

Ragdoll by Daniel Cole

Published by Trapeze on February 23, 2017

Ragdoll is the phenomenally addictive debut novel from Daniel Cole. I’d heard so much about this book via social media that I absolutely could not wait to get my hands on a copy, and it did not disappoint. Wolf has just been reinstated to the police force after his misdemeanours in a previous case. Only the case he is thrown right back into is built upon a list, delivered to the press by the Ragdoll killer, with the names of six people and the dates each one is going to die. If that doesn’t have you hooked then someone better check for a pulse…

There was plenty to love about this gruesomely gripping crime thriller.

I loved the originality soaring off the concept to the ragdoll. The discovery of a body stitched together, made up of body parts from six different victims, was entirely thrilling and a disturbing and exciting idea which left me unable to turn the pages fast enough. There were so many things I wanted to know, not least who the victims were and who the killer was. There was never a moment for a lull in the story or for my interest to wane as there was so much to discover. Calling Ragdoll addictive does not even scratch the surface of this book. I devoured my way through a tale of killer twists, red-herrings and discoveries that had me scratching my head and scrambling back to check I’d read them right.

Another thing I loved about Ragdoll was the dark humour. I knew I was going to enjoy this book right from the moment Wolf said, of the ragdoll, “It’s pointing into my apartment window”. I never expect a gritty crime novel to have me laughing throughout, but that’s exactly what Daniel Cole delivered here. There were several one-liners, things which caught me off guard in the midst of a quite violent story that added some great light relief.

The humour was also present between the three main characters involved in investigating the Ragdoll killer, Wolf, Baxter and Edmunds. I absolutely loved all three characters for different reasons. Wolf was a complex character, not one for many words and I enjoyed his sharp lines and found him to be hugely intriguing. I was fascinated and enthralled by his character and that only increased the further into the book I was. As for Baxter and Edmunds, I found them to be great characters too as they were both believable and entertaining. The dialogue and relationship between them was one of my favourite parts of the book. Ragdoll is a multi-layered book not defined simply by the ragdoll itself and the characters were a true credit to the book. Ragdoll was more than simply a good idea. Each stage of the book was deployed brilliantly and ensured I just had to read more.

I loved the sort of cat-and-dog chase between the Ragdoll killer and Wolf. The time constraints on the force to find out who the killer is and stop them working the whole way down their list added a great level of suspense to the story and this book was nothing if not a thrilling nail-biter of a crime novel to be read breathlessly and with as much spare time on your hands as possible as it’s as close to unputdownable as they come. Daniel Cole’s debut was initially a rejected screenplay and you may recognise some of the elements which make up a great TV crime series such as regular cliff-hangers and the controlled pace of the story. But whilst I could picture this on the telly, it still makes for a mightily good novel that has left me desperate for more.

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