Blog Tour: Ragdoll by Daniel Cole

#BookReview #TrapezeBooks #Daniel_P_Cole #RagdollBook 

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Hello and welcome to my stop on the 3 days, 40 victims Ragdoll blog tour. If you don’t already know (and if you don’t, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?) Ragdoll is Daniel Cole’s debut, the thriller which everyone is talking about!

The hardback copy comes out on Thurs 23rd Feb and is published by the lovely folk over at Trapeze (one of Orion’s newest imprints).

A bit about the book…

A body is discovered with the dismembered parts of six victims stitched together, 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?

What did I think?

As soon as I read Ragdoll’s blurb I knew that I had to get my hands on it. Everyone on Twitter was talking about it and I just had to read it as it sounded right up my street. Crime thrillers, detective stories, murder mysteries – whatever it is, you name it, without a doubt crime is my favourite genre. Generally speaking, the gorier the better. Therefore I was pretty pumped when I was lucky enough to win a proof copy of Ragdoll on Twitter, which I was absolutely thrilled about.

So, a bit about the book – Ragdoll walks alongside broken detective William “Wolf” Fawkes as he tries to solve the crime of the ‘Ragdoll Killer’, a gruesome and gory corpse that has been stitched together made up of six unsuspecting victims. Fawkes is full to the brim with attitude, despair and loneliness, with his ex-wife being the lead journalist reporting the case and with the police questioning his capability, he is desperate to come up trumps and solve the mystery. Although Wolf is angry and maniacal he is also such a likeable character – I was really rooting for him. I also loved the strong female characters Cole created, from Andrea, Wolf’s crazy, fame-hungry ex-wife, to his faithful sidekick, Baxter.

The story has everything you’d want from a thriller; a psychotic killer, action packed twists and turns, dark wit and humour, gory details and a fast paced, gripping plot. Honestly my heart was pumping ten to the dozen towards the end and I think I even held my breath in suspense as I was reading the last twist! I wanted to race through it but I also didn’t want it to end, the sure sign of a good thriller. Also, the ending was so unexpected and left me wanting more – please Daniel Cole, please write a sequel! We need another dose of Wolf in our lives.

I really don’t want to say too much as it’ll give the game away. You just have to read it for yourselves.

I’ve already decided that this is my number one thriller of the year – yes, I know we’ve still got 10 months left to go, but I’ll be amazed if another thriller comes out that grips me as much as this did. I genuinely can’t wait to see what Cole writes next. I’ve recommended this to countless friends already and will continue to do so until they succumb and finally read it!

Ragdoll is already out in eBook and audio book and comes out in hardback 23rd February 2017 – you can purchase it from the Book Depository here. As mentioned, I was lucky enough to get a proof copy of Ragdoll in advance, in exchange for a fair and honest review. All views are my own.

Without a doubt, I’m giving this 5/5.

What other bloggers have said about Ragdoll:

I highly recommend you go and read the other reviews from the blog tour, but here are some snippets from the other bloggers:

My Chestnut Reading Tree“I think this will be the Gone Girl or The Girl on the Train for 2017, you know, THAT book that everyone wants to emulate and aspire to.”

Northern Crime – “Stop doing whatever it is you are doing, grab a copy and be prepared to fall in love with Wolf! You won’t want it to end. Recommended!” 

Have Books, Will Read – “Ragdoll is full of action and cleverly planned murder scenes which seem impossible but are entirely possible – scary stuff!”

The Book Magnet“My mind was racing and my heart was pounding – sure signs of a superb debut.”

 

 

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January Reads

I kicked off the year with a pretty good month of reading. I worked my way through eight books which consisted of one poetry collection, two non-fictions, three novels and two crime thrillers.

Sorry my mini-reviews are a little late this month! Here goes…

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Rupture – Ragnar Jonasson (Orenda Books) – 4/5

I was kindly sent an advance copy of Rupture by the lovely Karen over at Orenda Books, which arrived the day before Christmas Eve.

Set in the town of Siglufjörður Rupture is chilling, dark and atmospheric. We follow the local policeman, Ari Thór, and his investigation into a suspicious death from the 1950s in the isolated fjord of Hedinsfjörður. The story unfurled slowly, was full of detail and really packed a punch – I don’t want to say too much as I implore you to read it and see what all the fuss is about. An absolute must read if you’re a fan of crime thrillers. I have to admit that I’d never read any of Jonasson’s work before, and with this being the fourth book in his Dark Iceland series I thought I might be a little bit lost, but in fact I found that Rupture worked fantastically as a stand-alone novel. To be honest, I enjoyed it so much that I’ve now added the other three books to my TBR pile.

Ragdoll – Daniel Cole (Trapeze) –  5/5

I won’t say anything about this one here, as I’m involved with the blog tour for Ragdoll and will be posting an in-depth review on Tuesday 21st February. Keep your eyes peeled!

Another Day in the Death of America – Gary Younge (Guardian Faber Publishing) – 5/5

I added this to my reading list for Non-Fiction November, then sadly never got around to reading it. In Another Day in the Death of America award-winning journalist Gary Younge tells the story of the children and teens killed by gun crime in a single 24 hour period, in America. Younge randomly chooses 23 November 2013 to track and chronicle the deaths of these ten young men.

Whilst I found it tragic in parts, it felt like a book I needed to read. It was so well written – insightful, intelligent and thoughtful. I find the issue of gun control and violence in the US petrifyingly scary and Younge’s account further opened my eyes to the complicated issues that are faced in the States, whilst also highlighting the vulnerability of the youth. Although difficult to read in places, I was engaged throughout and thoroughly recommend reading this one.

Scrappy Little Nobody – Anna Kendrick (Touchstone) – 3/5  

This was a collection of autobiographical essays by Anna Kendrick, the actress and star of Pitch Perfect. I was really unfussed by these; they were quite self-indulgent and often not that funny. If you’re looking for a light hearted, humorous memoir I’d recommend either Amy Schumer’s or Sue Perkins’ instead as both of them are much better!

The Shock of the Fall – Nathan Filer (Harper Collins) – 3/5

 ‘I’ll tell you what happened because it will be a good way to introduce my brother. His name’s Simon. I think you’re going to like him. I really do. But in a couple of pages he’ll be dead. And he was never the same after that.’

Whilst I enjoyed The Shock of the Fall, and it was an okay book, it didn’t wow me. It didn’t surprise or shock me and it felt a little lack lustre. I thought Filer’s portrait of mental illness and the health system was good, but perhaps a little too simplistic at times. Personally, I think this book could’ve been chopped in half and still told the story succinctly.

Gold from the Stone – Lemn Sissay (Canongate Books) – 4/5

My Mum got me this poetry collection for Christmas as I’ve been super keen to find more poetry that I enjoy. Lemn Sissay’s work is bold and personal, commenting on race, the government, social services, relationships and much, much more – it is filled with rage, humour, sadness and love.

After reading this collection I went on to watch countless YouTube videos of Lemn reading them – his performances breathed endless life into the words, so strong and powerful. My favourite from the collection was Invisible Kisses, it’s just breath-taking       .

And the hippos were boiled in their tanks – William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac (Penguin) – 2/5

After being involved in a crime one Summer, Kerouac and Burroughs decided to collaborate on a novel about the event they’d experienced. At the time, the two authors were undiscovered and yet to write anything of note – their original manuscript was rejected by publishers, left untouched for decades in a filing cabinet until it was published many years later. Kerouac and Burroughs narrate alternate chapters, piecing together a tale of bohemian New York during World War II. For me, this had so much promise, but in truth I found it clunky and static, with little to keep me interested. It took me months to read this, which is crazy as it is pretty short at a mere 214 pages. 

Fates and Furies – Lauren Groff (Windmill Books) – 4/5

A tale of love and lies, we follow newly married Lotto and Mathilde through their marriage; with two sides to every story, we hear both the male and female view of what their life is like as time passes by. Groff’s storytelling is sublime and her descriptions and plotline kept me hooked until the very last page. However, one thing I wasn’t overly struck on was Groff’s incorporation of Greek tragedy, but at the same time it wasn’t off-putting as it mirrored Lotto and Mathilde’s tragic tale.

I won! #lovebooks

On Valentine’s Day I spotted Curtis Brown Books was running a competition to win a bundle of love-themed books. Obviously I had to enter and, drumroll please, I was lucky enough to win! Needless to say I was very happy when the books turned up at my house a couple of days later.

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Out of the bundle I’ve read Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, but apart from that the others are all new to me. I can’t wait to read Letters to the Lost and Rembrandt’s Mirror.

I’ve included the blurb for each of the books below, so you can find out a little more info:

Love from Pooh – A.A. Milne

Wear your heart on your sleeve with this lovely gift book featuring words of love from Winnie-the-Pooh. When you are Pooh, honey is your first love, and your best friend loves you despite you being a Silly Old Bear.  This book features original quotations from A.A. Milne’s charming stories and poems, accompanied by E.H.Shepard’s charming line illustrations.

Paris for One – Jojo Moyes

Nell is twenty-six and has never been to Paris. She’s never even been on a romantic weekend away – to anywhere – before. Travelling abroad isn’t really her thing. But when Nell’s boyfriend fails to show up, she has the chance to prove to everyone – including herself – that she can be independent and intrepid. Alone in Paris, Nell finds a version of herself she never knew existed . . . In the ten other stories, Jojo Moyes introduces us to a cast of strong, relatable women in the midst of their everyday lives.

Me Before You – Jojo Moyes

Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick. What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that.What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other for all time.

After You – Jojo Moyes

Lou Clark has lots of questions. Like how it is she’s ended up working in an airport bar, spending every shift watching other people jet off to new places. Or why the flat she’s owned for a year still doesn’t feel like home. Whether her close-knit family can forgive her for what she did eighteen months ago. And will she ever get over the love of her life. What Lou does know for certain is that something has to change. Then, one night, it does.

Us – David Nicholls

Douglas Petersen understands his wife’s need to ‘rediscover herself’ now that their son is leaving home. He just thought they’d be doing their rediscovering together. So when Connie announces that she will be leaving, too, he resolves to make their last family holiday into the trip of a lifetime: one that will draw the three of them closer, and win the respect of his son. One that will make Connie fall in love with him all over again. The hotels are booked, the tickets bought, the itinerary planned and printed. What could possibly go wrong?

The Gift of a Lifetime – Melissa Hill

Hollywood movies are Beth’s passion. She hopes her life will always be filled with classic movie moments, where magical things happen every day. Her boyfriend Danny has always been the embodiment of her perfect Hollywood hero—though after seven years together the initial silver-screen romance has settled into something more predictable. Then one morning at work just before Christmas, Beth receives an anonymous gift of a take-out coffee cup with a cryptic message. From there, she is given a series of other gifts and riddles directing her to some of NYC’s most popular landmarks—a treasure trail using unique rom-com-related prompts perfect for a movie-lover like Beth to decipher.

The Girl in the Castle – Santa Montefiore

International sensation Santa Montefiore presents the first book in a trilogy that follows three Irish women through the decades of the twentieth century–perfect for fans of Kate Morton and Hazel Gaynor.

Rembrandt’s Mirror – Kim Devereux

Hendrickje, a girl from a strict Calvinist family leaves her provincial home to find work as a housemaid. She enters Rembrandt’s flourishing workshop five years after the death of the great artist’s wife, an event that continues to haunt him. It is a house full of secrets and desires, and Hendrickje soon witnesses a sexual encounter between Rembrandt and Geertje, his implacable housekeeper. She is shocked to the core by their intense carnality and yet, slowly, she is drawn to Rembrandt by the freshness with which he perceives the world and the special freedom he seems to possess. Rembrandt is a man of dark corners, strange passions and a ruthlessness born from his need to put his art first. An involvement with him could be her ruin or her liberty. Rembrandt’s Mirror explores the three women of Rembrandt’s life, and the towering passions of the artist, seen through the eyes of his last, great love, Hendrickje.

Letters to the Lost – Iona Grey 

1943, in the ruins of Blitzed London…
Stella Thorne and Dan Rosinski meet by chance and fall in love by accident. Theirs is a reluctant, unstoppable affair in which all the odds are stacked against them: she is newly married, and he is an American bomber pilot whose chance of survival is just one in five.

… He promised to love her forever. Seventy years later Dan makes one final attempt to find the girl he has never forgotten, and sends a letter to the house where they shared a brief yet perfect happiness. But Stella has gone, and the letter is opened by Jess, a young girl hiding from problems of her own. And as Jess reads Dan’s words, she is captivated by the story of a love affair that burned so bright and dimmed too soon. Can she help Dan find Stella before it is too late? Now forever is finally running out.

The Invitation – Lucy Foley 

An evocative love story set along the Italian Riviera about a group of charismatic stars who all have secrets and pasts they try desperately -and dangerously-to hide.

The Gracekeepers – Kirsty Logan

As a Gracekeeper, Callanish administers shoreside burials, sending the dead to their final resting place deep in the depths of the ocean. Alone on her island, she has exiled herself to a life of tending watery graves as penance for a long-ago mistake that still haunts her. Meanwhile, North works as a circus performer with the Excalibur, a floating troupe of acrobats, clowns, dancers, and trainers who sail from one archipelago to the next, entertaining in exchange for sustenance.

Inspired in part by Scottish myths and fairytales, The Gracekeepers tells a modern story of an irreparably changed world: one that harbors the same isolation and sadness, but also joys and marvels of our own age.

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Have you read any of the books above? If so, which ones do you recommend? I’d also love to hear what your favourite love-themed novel is.