While I haven’t been on a lot of roller coasters in my life, I can assure you that this was one ride that never wanted to slow down! Daniel Cole’s debut thriller is the story of Detective William ‘Wolf’ Fawkes and it is action-packed from cover to cover. Reinstated to his post after a controversial case surrounding the Cremation Killer, Wolf returns to duty with a case that will leave anyone completely baffled. It is upon arriving at a crime scene featuring one body, but six different victims, that the ride reaches its peak. This is the beginning of a deranged individual that will forever be known as the Ragdoll Killer. Things however doesn’t stop getting weirder from there. It’s one thing to find pieces of different bodies sewn together, but it’s another thing when Wolf’s reporter ex-wife arrives with photographs of a yet-to-be released crime scene and a list of names with dates on which the so-called Ragdoll Killer plans to take their lives. Ragdoll is a fantastic debut that promises to deliver fans of crime novels and thriller a brand new detective to follow in his adventures.
You’d think that knowing who the next victim through a murder list would make things a lot easier for the police, but Daniel Cole has news for you. Ragdoll is a fast-paced, completely progressive and riveting crime fiction. It incorporates dark humour that never destroys the darker atmosphere of the story as well as brilliant, complex and flawed characters to keep the story engaging and entertaining, without ever feeling stagnant or ludicrous. While William Fawkes remains our scarred, independent and clever lead detective, the story also features countless other point of views that also adds additional insight on their respective personalities, presents us wit the history between characters and brings us to question each and everyone on their motives and desires. While you’ll quickly spot character types that are often seen in police procedural stories, such as the newbie who tries to gain the trust of his veteran comrades or the old-man veteran detective who’s seen it all, there isn’t an instant throughout this story where you won’t want to know more on these characters. The best part of this story is the interaction between each character. These moments were always such a joy to go through as they reminded us that everyone was still human, but some were also monsters.
Daniel Cole also incorporates flashback sequences fluently throughout the story to add context regarding present day actions of Detective William Fawkes. While they aren’t so frequent, they definitely bring in all the hurt and weight that he has endured to this present day. Let’s not forget to mention that the writing is near perfect. It captures the fast-pace, danger-around-the-corner and stressful times as the life of several individuals are in the hands of the police. Daniel Cole also does a phenomenal job in slowing things down when it matters in order to emphasize the emotions and the struggles that everyone goes through in their own personal lives as each of their moves become of paramount importance. Ragdoll doesn’t solely rely on the crime story to deliver its thriller. The author also blends in the whole journalistic and media role in sensational crime events like this one. It is amazing how cruel, cold-blooded and insensitive people in that business can be, and it’s even more impressive how the author shows Wolf’s reporter ex-wife’s perspective on it all as she struggles between professionalism and her own humanity.
If you’re looking for your next crime thriller, you can be sure to be entertained with this one. Fun in so many ways, Ragdoll remarkably infuses dark humour, complex characters and unexpected plot twists into a time-sensitive killing spree story. The author also does an impressive job in leaving everyone mysterious enough to have readers wondering on their own culpability in the matter. Offering readers a brilliant debut, Daniel Cole succeeds in laying out the table for great adventures around a cast of characters that will never seize to impress. While the ending suffered from the breakneck pace, it still wrapped things up in the right way to keep fans excited for the future adventures to come. It is not every day that you’ll run into a thriller relatively dark and funny, and that is able to maintain an excellent momentum throughout the whole story. Detective William ‘Wolf’ Fawkes will surely go down as another great lead detective to join the ranks of those that we already love to this day.
THANK YOU TO HARPERCOLLINS CANADA FOR SENDING ME AN ADVANCE COPY FOR REVIEW!
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MY OVERALL RATING: ★★★★☆/