Book Review: Ragdoll, by Daniel Cole #RagdollBook

Publisher: Trapeze

Publication date:  23rd February 2017

Ragdoll’s continual moving theatre of sensational scenes make utterly compulsive viewing.

I bought this book on the strength of the opening sample chapters I read on NetGalley and rave online reviews. Although I found that I had reservations concerning the authenticity of police procedures / events these could easily be forgiven, as based on pure entertainment value is it victorious.

Our lead cunningly adopts the acronym of Wolf (William Oliver Layton-Fawkes), which gives him instant clout before we even have the opportunity to identify his wily attributes. He’s an inventive creation, almost as inspired as the grotesque Ragdoll itself. When he’s not going off on a tangent Wolf exercises his natural abilities of brusqueness, sarcasm, and the affliction known as “responding to situations without a second thought for other people’s feelings”. He’s a ‘couldn’t give a damn’ kind of chap and his retorts are priceless.

After an agonising crawl back from breaking point after ‘the cremation killer’, Wolf is reinstated as a Detective overseeing the Ragdoll case with its customised dismemberment and unique tailoring application. His personal involvement unintentionally makes striking headlines and threatens to compromise the safety of the remaining victims who are named on the killer’s published hit list, Wolf included. The killer is highly evasive and their taunts intimidating – this is a hostile game and Wolf is reluctant to play by the rules.

Realism die-hards may have difficulty digesting this one as any loose cannon with a history of misfiring would ordinarily prompt serious misgivings, and yet Wolf finds himself at the centre of a high profile investigation with irreversible consequences should he fail. If you don’t take it too seriously then you and the plot will get along just fine.

Well, I stormed through the first few chapters to carve a huge dent in this book in a matter of a single evening. But toward the middle of the book the scene changes started to arrive in shorter and shorter bursts. Rather than naturally bridging the story together they felt like interruptions as several characters competed for attention in a very brief space of time. Happily, the flow recovered significantly to peak with a stonking great finale which was both extreme and impressive.

The characters are drawn from all walks of life for all manner of unsuspecting reasons, and I deliriously wanted to learn the answers to the anatomical puzzle and the reasoning behind Wolf’s questionable approach to pretty much everything. 

The Ragdoll spectacle puts on quite a performance and I’m keen to discover what the future holds for Mr (Wolf) Layton-Fawkes.

Rating:   4/5  

(My rating is an average taken from the Beginning = 5 / Middle = 3 / Ending = 4)

Source: My own purchased copy.

(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

‘Superb thriller writing.’ Peter Robinson
‘A brilliant, breathless thriller’ M.J. Arlidge
‘A high concept solution to a mystery’ Sophie Hannah

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 and Baxter catch a killer when the world is watching their every move?

Translated into over 30 languages, RAGDOLL is a quality, rocket-paced thriller with twists and turns you won’t see coming. For readers of Jo Nesbo. You will not stop talking about this book.


(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

At 33 years old, Daniel Cole has worked as a paramedic, an RSPCA officer and most recently for the RNLI, driven by an intrinsic need to save people or perhaps just a guilty conscience about the number of characters he kills off in his writing.

He currently lives in sunny Bournemouth and can usually be found down the beach when he ought to be writing book two instead.



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