Set in London, Cole’s strong first novel—a gritty fusion of police procedural, mystery, and thriller—follows emotionally unstable detective William “Wolf” Fawkes as he attempts to track down a killer who dismembers his victims and stitches various body parts back together to create a nightmarish single “ragdoll.” As a team of overworked investigators diligently searches for clues, it becomes apparent that all the victims are somehow connected to a highly controversial case in Fawkes’s past, one that involved freeing a man suspected of being London’s most prolific serial killer (27 teenage prostitutes killed in 27 days). When the press receives a list of the killer’s future victims and the exact dates of their deaths, Fawkes—whose name is last on the list—realizes that he has just a few weeks to find the deranged psychopath and save himself. Cole uses the rising tension and the mystery of the killer’s true identity to create a page-turning narrative, though the final payoff seems a bit underwhelming after such a powerful setup. Agents: Esther Newberg and Zoe Sandler, ICM. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 01/16/2017 Release date: 04/01/2017 Genre: Fiction
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