Trapeze | March 2018 | 384 pgs
Source: Library

Hangman picks up eighteen months later after the investigation closure of the 'Ragdoll' murders (read my review on Ragdoll here), leaving DCI (then DS) Emily Baxter in an almost emotional wreck after all the craziness and that her ex-colleague, DS William "Wolf" Fawkes has gone MIA. However, Baxter has no time to worry about as a new assignment lands right onto her lap. 

The Metropolitan Police is teaming up with the FBI and CIA after a body is found hanging from Brooklyn Bridge with the word 'BAIT' carved into the chest. Back in London, it appears there is a copycat killer who murdered the victims in a similar M.O., and instead of the word 'BAIT' it was 'PUPPET'. Against her decision, Baxter finds herself partnering with the two American detectives, Special Agents Rouche and Curtis. Despite the partnership, Baxter seems wary of the two agents and since she has trust issue in general, she has doubts about them. Rouche and Curtis, on the other hand, make an odd partner and although they've no qualms with Baxter, they couldn't help but feel the distance between them especially they've instructions from the superior to keep some info to themselves. 

As the body count began to rise on both sides of the Atlantic, the three detectives find themselves racing against the clock as whenever they trace a suspect, the killer is always a step ahead of them. Aside from the tricky case, the reader will also learn that the three detectives have their own vulnerability and demons to fight and that they have their weaknesses behind that tough cop image. 

Hangman, unlike Ragdoll, is more of a character-driven crime thriller than a police procedural. Readers who expect more of DS William "Wolf" Faukes will be disappointed in this book because this is mainly about DCI Emily Baxter, the introduction of Special Agent Rouche and their banter. Rouche was another interesting character and was totally in a different league with Wolf and Baxter; he's affable and relaxed though he seems to be an oddball in his colleagues' eyes. I'm also glad to see there's more of Edmunds (Baxter's ex-trainee) in this book, as I mention in my review of Ragdoll, I felt his role there was far too underrated. His friendship with Baxter has taken it to the next level in this book and despite he's no longer working together with her and was transferred to the Fraud division, he's willing to put his job on the line by giving her as much assistance as he could while breaking a few rules now and then.  

There was definitely much more grimness here than in Ragdoll as it deals mainly with blind revenge and injustice targeting the vulnerable victims, especially if they've lost their loved ones and feel the unfairness of everything. Despite this is a sequel to Ragdoll it still works well as a standalone; though readers who'd read Ragdoll will have a far more connection surrounding Baxter and the Ragdoll murders case. The author mentioned in the Q&A that he's writing these Ragdoll books as a trilogy so I'm definitely looking forward to its last installment. 

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14 Responses
  1. I do like crime thrillers and these 2 sound great; thanks for sharing with us book lovers.

  2. jenclair Says:

    I haven't read this author, but I would begin with the first one. :)

  3. Kay Says:

    I haven't read Ragdoll either, but I would also begin with that one. Thanks for telling us that this will likely be a trilogy. Maybe I can catch up? This one sounds really good.

  4. Lark Says:

    I still haven't read Ragdoll! I'm so far behind. ;D

  5. I do want to give this trilogy a try. I am glad you enjoyed it, Melody.

  6. Jenny Says:

    Sounds like it veered off a bit but I’m glad you still enjoyed it.

  7. Melody Says:

    Diane - I hope you'll enjoy the books if you do read them, Diane.

  8. Melody Says:

    Jenclair - Yes, it's always good to start with the first book. :)

  9. Melody Says:

    Kay - It's an intense thriller, and that's all I can say about it. :)

  10. Melody Says:

    Lark - I'm far behind when series books are concerned so you're not alone. :p

  11. Melody Says:

    Wendy - I hope you'll enjoy them, Wendy.

  12. Melody Says:

    Jenny - Yep, it definitely is a bit different from the first book and I'm hoping the last installment won't disappoint and that Wolf will make his appearance.

  13. The Bookworm Says:

    This does sound like a good series with well developed characters. I'm glad you enjoyed it.
    I'm in the middle of a crime thriller too. Happy reading :)

  14. Melody Says:

    Naida - I'm not good with following series and I'm glad this one caught my attention. :)

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