Rag­dol by Daniel Col e

BY DANIEL COLE (TRAPEZE) OUT NOW

Crime Scene - - POST MORTEM - By EMMA JOHN­STON

There’s noth­ing like a grisly mur­der to get the old pages turn­ing, so how about six for the price of one? Daniel Cole’s de­but novel starts with half a dozen bod­ies, butchered and sewn to­gether to form the mar­i­onet­te­like rag­doll of the ti­tle, and De­tec­tive Wil­liam “Wolf” Fawkes of the Met is at the cen­tre of the mys­tery.

The pace of Rag­doll is breath­less – it be­gan life as a prospec­tive TV script, and it shows: it’s stuffed to the gills with ac­tion and cliffhang­ers, the killer re­leas­ing a list of names of his next vic­tims with the date they’re due to meet their sticky end. But what makes the book so read­able is the gal­lows hu­mour running through it, a deeply British knack of find­ing the fun­nies amid the hor­ror.

Wolf’s col­league and best friend, Emily Bax­ter, in par­tic­u­lar is a font of sar­casm on a par with De­tec­tive Inspector Viv Deer­ing of Chan­nel 4’s No Of­fence. There’s noth­ing sub­tle about Rag­doll. It’s loud, brash and brassy. It’s that mate you love hit­ting the town with, but you go in the full knowl­edge that you’ll prob­a­bly be hold­ing their hair back while they’re sick later. A riot, in other words.

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