Trapeze | February 2017 | 384 pgs
Source: Library

Daniel Cole started off his debut thriller with a bang featuring one of the most horrific/gruesome murder crimes I'd read to-date - a body with the dismembered parts of six victims stitched together, thus earning the nickname "Ragdoll" by the media. Assigned to this case are DS William "Wolf" Fawkes and DS Emily Baxter; both of them with the Metropolitan Police with Wolf leading the investigation.

Wolf had a history about abusing a defendant on trial after the sentence. Naguib Khalid, dubbed "The Cremation Killer" had set twenty seven young female prostitutes ablaze after they were heavily sedated in twenty-seven days and though Wolf made his arrest, contradicting surveillance reports and conflicting forensic evidence rendered Khalid a not-guilty sentence which made Wolf lost his cool. Wolf doesn't really care about protocols and as long as he knows he is right about the suspect, he would do anything to bring him down.

Four years later after losing his marriage and that he was vindicated from that infamous trial incident, he's back into his position with a bigger and sensational "Ragdoll" case waiting for him. But this is not all, Wolf's ex-wife, who is a TV journalist, received a list of six names (with Wolf being the last on the list) and the dates which the killer may strike next and this sent the whole media and nation into an uproar. With the clock ticking away and the pressure from all directions, the Metropolitan Police has to race against time with the killer to ensure that no more lives are being lost to the sadistic killer who seems to be a few steps ahead of them.

Ragdoll was a fast-paced thriller filled with intensity and actions with a dose of dark satire. Wolf made an intriguing, flawed character right from the start. His partnering with DS Emily Baxter filled the pages with their love/hate opinions of each other as well as their investigations. They are not romantically linked, yet Wolf's ex-wife assumed they are, which was one reason that shattered their marriage aside from their different life and perspectives. While I enjoyed the developed characters in Wolf and Emily, surprisingly it was Emily's trainee, Edmunds, whom I found the most interesting among all. He is smart and meticulous in his own way, and his devotion to the investigation definitely worth an appreciation from all but I felt his role was a bit underrated.

While this was more of a police procedural and I liked it that readers are offered more than a glimpse of how the media has much influence when controversial matters are concerned, I felt it'd have been better if it includes the killer's perspective and how his mind works. Then again, it may be the author's intention of portraying him as a dire and mysterious figure. Wolf and Emily are set to return in a sequel in 2018 and I've high expectations considering it's clichéd bigger, darker, more shocking but at the same time it's funnier, more poignant and more personal (these are from the author's words.)

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10 Responses
  1. The Bookworm Says:

    Sounds like a fast paced thriller. I think the whole Ragdoll thing would give me nightmares!
    Great post.

  2. Lark Says:

    Have put this one on my list! :) Though that first scene does sound pretty gruesome.

  3. jenclair Says:

    I think the main characters sound interesting, but I'm not sure about the gruesome murders!

  4. The gruesomeness of the murders does seem a bit much, but otherwise, I really like the sound of it. More and more today we are aware of the role media plays in our lives and the news we take in. It's all so very interesting, I think. Thanks for the great review, Melody!

  5. Melody Says:

    Naida - It was a great thriller but yes, the murders were intimidating and horrific.

  6. Melody Says:

    Lark - Yes, I don't think I've ever came across a thriller with such gruesome murders but in this case it's the characters which speak most to me.

  7. Melody Says:

    Jenclair - Sometimes it's the characters which are the most interesting no matter how gruesome the murders are. ;)

  8. Melody Says:

    Wendy - It does seems that way, isn't it? The gruesomeness. Media is both a terrific and a terrifying channel; the same goes for social media platform. Lately there was a case here about a couple bullying an elderly over a table and was caught on video. It went viral and many netizens were angry over that couple. Some even challenged them and put matters into their own hands and ask anyone to come forward if they've seen them. Finally, a police report was lodged and that couple was finally arrested and investigated. Anyways, that was it about social media platform.

  9. Iliana Says:

    Wow, talk about a crazy beginning! Of course that got my attention and I want to read this one!

  10. Melody Says:

    Iliana - I hope you'll enjoy reading this when you get to it, Iliana.

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