Ragdoll: an edge-of-your-seat thriller that I still side-eyed hard

Ragdoll by Daniel Cole book review

What is this about?: A cop, and a killer that is half real and half urban legend.

What else: Everything comes back to the case, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing

Blurb: 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?

Stars: 3.5 for the mystery aspect, and like a 2 for everything else, I swear, THIS BOOK.

So you see the blurb up there? That pretty much sets up the scene when Ragdoll opens, and Fawkes finds himself in the middle of a twisty case that actually did leave me on the edge of my seat.

But, I couldn’t quite reconcile the superb plotting and tension-filled writing with the female characters and Fawkes. And here’s the thing: in the beginning, these women are damned complicated, wonderful characters, and mess with Fawkes’ head in the most delicious way. 

Baxter is his partner, a woman who was so close to him at one point, his wife Andrea assumed they were having an affair. And Baxter clearly has feelings for him, while in the novel Fawkes begins to realise as much too. She is fierce and loyal and will protect him from himself if she has to, but there is never any doubt of the regard she has for him. 

Andrea is a reporter who left him while he was in a mental hospital. She is building a life for herself away from him, but their paths cross all the time because well, he’s a cop and she’s the reporter often reporting on his cases. Like the case of the Ragdoll killer, who brings all three together.

I adored Baxter and Andrea — they leapt off the page, and confused Fawkes no end. The author clearly invested time and care in them and their relationship with Fawkes, and with each other. These are women who clearly have a presence in the book and who matter. And I was waiting to see how these relationships would play out!

… and then he introduces a third woman that Fawkes becomes attracted to pretty much immediately. And given he’s the main character, it’s kind of a big deal when he suddenly decides it’s awesome that a random woman (within the context of the book) has shown an interest in him. It had the air of stalling the other two relationships for no good reason. Argh. At which point, I realised how exhausting this book was.

I got whiplash. It’s also possible I talked myself out of reading book 2, despite the very cool cliffhanger in this one. 

11 Comments

  • WTH? I can see why you were less than thrilled with this! The cliffhanger ending would’ve done me in, never mind the rest!

    • Verushka says:

      I was waiting on pins and needles for some resolution in his relationships, but nope. Sighs. What’s weirder the third lady was written off quickly, but I couldn’t quite let go of his reaction to her.

  • Oh wow, I think all of the drama with the women and Fawkes would probably annoy me to no end because it sounds like such a distraction from what was an otherwise decent mystery.

    • Verushka says:

      That particular drama with the new woman was the one that tipped me over the edge. It did take awhile for the drama with Baxter and Andrea to settle down so they worked with the story as a whole, but it did. And then this happened…

  • Greg says:

    Huh that’s weird to develop the two female characters so much, and have them as possible relationships with him, and then introduce a third out of the blue. That might bother me too. Sounds like the mystery was pretty good though (and gruesome!). Sorry to hear this one was a bit frustrating…

    • Verushka says:

      I think it was a stall for the next book in a way. It annoyed me bc up until then they’d hooked me despite the slow beginning. Blah.

  • Seems like the random chick thrown in would annoy me too. I would be annoyed with a cliffhanger though. I would need to know what happened!! Great review!

    • Verushka says:

      Thank you! It’s a bit of a tough cliffhanger at the end, so it made me so curious about hoe he was going to get Fawkes out of it. But the third woman was a stall, I think and It frustrated me no end.

  • Kelly says:

    That sounds like one woman too many. Damn. This could have been a brilliant read because it sounds as though the suspense is on point, but why complicate it with messy relationships by adding in another love interest! Sometimes it feels as though authors just shove all their ideas in there and less sometimes is more. Sorry you couldn’t have enjoyed this more Verushka but wonderful review! <3

    • Verushka says:

      I think it was a bit of a stall for the series. Despite the slow beginning, the author TOTALLY came into his own juggling Fawkes relationships with Baxter and Andrea and I thought however he resolved it, it would be explosive. But nope. My theory is, he was stalling for the next book.

  • I don’t like the cliffhanger aspect or books that tend to be exhausting, BUT you mention other things about this book that I would love so I’m going to have to go ahead and add this to my reading list. Maybe closer to when the next book releases. Thank you for the wonderful review! 🙂

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