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.