What’s it about?
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?
I love to dive into a brand new detective series and this time the lead detective, William ‘Wolf’ Hawkes is a heavily damaged man. He even ended up in a mental institution for a while after he attacked a man in court. He was sure the man was a serial killer but the jury didn’t follow his opinion and found him ‘not guilty’. So right after reading this exciting prologue you’re already left wondering if he was right or wrong on that account and how that will affect the story further.
Fast forward to 4 years later. Wolf’s back and he’s got his work cut out for him right away when he’s called into a crime scene right across the street from his apartment. A corpse was found hanging from the ceiling, stitched together by 6 different body parts. Not only are 6 unidentified people killed but a list with future victims is also delivered to his ex-wife Andrea, who is (quite conveniently) a journalist.
And so the race to catch the murderer begins. Wolf tries to protect the people on the list but of course the murderer is a cunning and calculated killer. People are going to die and the murders are grizzly and ingeniously planned. It’s frightening how people get ticked off the list despite the police’s best efforts. As a reader you think it won’t be possible but there are plenty of nasty surprises. At the same time they have to find out who the six body parts belonged to and what the link is between all the listed victims. The Death Clock is ticking.
Wolf makes a good team with Simmons, newbie Edmunds and his one female colleague Emily Baxter. Between him and Baxter there is always a little chemistry. At one moment there’s an unexpected meet between Andrea, Wolf’s ex-wife, and Baxter and I quite loved this scene, the atmosphere between both women was highly uncomfortable and awkward and I almost held my breath there as the tension was running high. Although Baxter is a cool and determined detective, and Wolf is the centre of attention, there’s also a big role for Edmunds who turns out to be the star of the investigative team. The dynamics between the three of them worked really well and they each had an interesting personal side that came forward in the story too.
This was a clever and unpredictable police procedure with a gripping plot and a very unexpected conclusion. You might lose your sleep over this one once you start reading because it was highly addictive. The final act was brutal and makes you wonder what’ll further happen in the sequel. Unbelievable this is actually a debut and this book, originally designed as a screenplay, was rejected. I’d love to read more by this author and I hope he will keep his murders equally inventive. This is a recommended read for Chris Carter fans!
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.