Ragdoll – Daniel Cole

Good grief, a new job really does get in the way of blogging about books! Going from no work or work experience to a full 8:30-5 day plus an hour’s commute each way really does take it out of you!

Anyway, I had been looking forward to reading Ragdoll for months – ever since it was first announced on social media really, and, though the book isn’t due out until… I think this coming Monday, it was released on audio last week.

It’s wonderfully gruesome, opening with a courtroom brawl and then the discovery of a corpse made up of the torso, head and limbs of 6 different victims. This is all very intriguing and my morbid curiosity was piqued.

Sadly, however, I didn’t really feel the narrative was strong enough to keep up. The blurb of Ragdoll gives the impression that you should become very invested in the lead detective William Oliver Leighton-Fawkes… know as Wolf, obviously, but there are vast sections of the narrative where you don’t even know where Fawkes is!

Maybe it’s unfair but I was comparing this very much to MJ Arlidge’s series, as both have these supposedly flawed protagonists but I actually cared more for Emily Baxter, the alcoholic token strong female character, than Wolf.

As I keep mentioning without really getting to the point, the issue here lies in the narrative for me. While MJ Arlidge takes you on a bit of a whirlwind adventure, briefly stopping by to check on what’s happening in each corner of the story before flying off once more without even stopping to catch our breath, Cole’s take on this is much slower, so you’re more inclined to lose track of where you are. This is particularly problematic with audio, as it’s difficult to flick back to check on what’s going on. I will read it again and I will pay for a copy when it comes out. I desperately want to like it more than I do right now.

This all sounds very negative, which is quite unfair. I did enjoy this. I was not heartily disappointed by it, it just wasn’t the ground-breakingly awesome read I was hoping it would be. That said, the murders are wonderfully creative and clever. It’s nothing like I’ve read before, and it is a debut effort so is damn promising. I’ve just read about how it was originally an idea for a screenplay and I can definitely see that. It would make an awesome mini-series or tv movie and I think it has been commissioned so I look forward to that.

This is going to be a short post, even with my massively long delay, purely because I don’t really know what else there is to say. If you like a dark crime novel, give it a go, you might love it or you might not.

While I’m here though I will mention the book I’m now reading. It’s Clare Mackintosh again (I reviewed her other one, I See You, albeit briefly, here) and it’s called I Let You GoAll I will say is it is twist city. I’m usually a bit non-plussed by big plot twists but my god, this one had a good one.

That’s all for today.

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