“A body is discovered with the dismembered parts of six victims stitched together, nicknamed the ‘Ragdoll’ by the media.
Assigned to the shocking case are Detective William 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.
“Ragdoll” is the first book in what I believe the author Daniel Cole intends to be a series featuring the character of police detective William Fawkes. According to a story in the Guardian last year, Bournemouth-based Cole was signed for a three book publishing and TV deal for the fledgling series – at which time the detective’s name appears to have been Nathan Wolfe. Now that the first book is out the Wolfe has become “Wolf” and is the nickname for the Fawkes character.
Wolf is a detective with a lot of baggage – more than your average crime fiction detective in fact. Said baggage includes his spell in a psychiatric hospital following a brutal attack, in court, on accused killer Naguib Khaled when a case falls apart. As well as this there is a complicated relationship with fellow police officer DS Emily Baxter and the existence of his TV journalist ex-wife Andrea.
When a stitched-together “Ragdoll” is discovered in a flat opposite the one in which Wolf now resides he finds himself on the case along with Baxter. When Andrea receives a list detailing the killer’s intended targets – as well as the dates on which they are to die – the investigation becomes increasingly personal.
Unfortunately Wolf doesn’t work well with the investigating team, preferring to work alone and keeping Baxter and her trainee partner Edmunds at arm’s length as much as possible.
Somehow, despite the police taking elaborate precautions, the killer manages to find his victims and dispatch them in a variety of ingenious ways. Who is this mysterious killer and where does he get his inside information from?
Although I found Wolf to be perhaps a little too larger than life I did enjoy the way the story and relationships between the main characters were portrayed. Cole has obviously got a great imagination when it comes to clever killings and did a very good job in plotting the whole tale so that you never really get a handle on what’s going on until the end.
The climax of the book does make me wonder quite how Cole will take the series forward with Wolf and Baxter in tandem but I look forward to finding out when the second book hits the shelves…