“A body is discovered with the dismembered parts of six victims stitched together like a puppet, 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?”
‘So tell me, if you’re the Devil, what does that make me?’ The most anticipated book of 2017 opens with a member of the jury, Samantha, sitting on a case dubbed “The Cremation Killer” by the media. With 27 victims in 27 days, all of them prostitutes aged between 14-16, it seems quite inevitable that he will be found guilty. When the accused is found “not guilty” Detective William ‘Wolf’ Fawkes brutally attacks him in front of the packed court room. A picture of Samantha staggering from the Old Bailey in a white, blood soaked dress will be the iconic image associated with that day and the carnage that went on for time to come. Fast forward four years and Wolf is called to a murder scene, one that is horrific and completely unique, with undeniable yet bewildering links to The Cremation Killer. A body, made up of six separate dismembered parts is discovered, the arm pointing ominously to the home of Detective Wolf, and the head with an uncanny resemblance to the accused Cremation Killer of 4 years ago. As the killer contacts Wolf with a list of names and dates of his next victims, it is a race against the clock to stop him, made all the more urgent by the fact the last name on the list is Detective Wolf himself.
This book is quite different to any other crime book I have read before, and the more it goes on, the stranger it becomes. The story itself is fast paced and interesting, with inventive methods of murdering characters that satisfied even my fiendish urges. The characters are well written too. Wolf is the complex and flawed anti-hero I had a love/hate relationship with, ready to have a breakdown at any minute, he is unpredictable and out of control. I couldn’t help love the character Edmunds, a Detective Constable in training, he is young, eager, smart and always sticks to the rules, he is like the class nerd with the “know it all” attitude that you shouldn’t like, but end up loving anyway. The ending is quite explosive and unexpected, and I am glad the author decided to rip up the rules of writing a crime novel because it led to a shocking yet refreshing conclusion.
This book is a must read for hard-core crime fans, be ready to be blown away by distinctively offbeat novel that will keep you up all night. I gave this book 4 stars and look forward to reading more from Daniel Cole. Thanks to Orion Books, Daniel Cole and NetGalley for the advanced reader copy.