Tuesday, 25 October 2016


With thanks to Orion Books for the review copy of this book before the February 2017 release date.

Written by debut novelist Daniel Cole, Ragdoll started life as a unproduced television pilot before Cole put it in a drawer somewhere and after many rejections decided to in his own words, 'do the selfish thing and write a book that I would love myself'.

Ragdoll tells the tale of the Ragdoll killer a serial killer who having already stitched together six victims to make a ragdoll of a corpse - separate head, torso, arms, legs. The head belongs to the infamous Cremation killer, a serial peadophile who would abuse young girls before disposing of their bodies in the aforementioned manner.

One detective William Fawkes stood up to his belief that one man Naquib Khalid was the killer, and this belief led to him attacking Khalid in the dock at the Old Bailey.  Now the case is brought back from the past, Khalid's own head is that of the Ragdoll, and Wolf is being used as bait by the Ragdoll Killer.

A man who is gripping the nation as he has provocatively claimed he will kill seven people on a specific date, with Wolf the last on the list. This showmanship of stating when and where he will complete his next murder is fitting for the current world fixated with multi-media platforms, the ultimate embodiment of 15 minutes of fame even for the victims. 

So begins a huge game of cat and mouse between the Metropolitan Police and the Ragdoll killer who is seemingly one step ahead of them, as the police try to put every next victim in witness protection, the killer beats them to the punch.

Daniel Cole
Daniel P Cole - the author

For a debut novel, Cole takes telling risks in his narrative by flirting with the possibility of following a tried and tested pattern yet then doing an about face which is as ingenious as his master villain. The risks are not restricted the narrative development, our allegiances to Wolf who is part Maverick, part wind-up merchant, part charmer is a risk taker himself, and our empathy for him is tested throughout culminating in the test of plausibility by the book's third act.

Yet Cole writes with such confidence and panache transferring from set piece to set piece whilst sustaining a romantic sub-plot and the growth of periphery characters coming front and centre by the conclusion.

The ending is both resolutory and yet ambiguous to the degree that there promises more to come from Wolf in whatever guise it may be. Whatever Cole chooses to do next, whether it is with or without Wolf, this debut novelist is certainly one to watch.

Ragdoll could possibly be the literary event of 2017.

It will be released by Trapeze Press on 23rd February on e-book edition and Hardback.

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