cover image Hangman


Daniel Cole. Ecco, $28.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-06-265398-7

Early in Thriller Award–finalist Cole’s fevered sequel to 2017’s Ragdoll, Det. Chief Insp. Emily Baxter, of London’s New Scotland Yard, is visited by CIA agent Damien Rouche and FBI agent Elliot Curtis. They think she might be interested in a recent murder at the Brooklyn Bridge that could be the work of someone copying the notorious serial killer Lethaniel “Ragdoll” Masse, whom she help put behind bars. Baxter protests that she can be of no help in what to her is a clearly unrelated case on the other side of the world, but in the end, of course, she travels to New York, where she joins a team of investigators who get on the trail of copycat killers who have the word puppet carved into their chests. Cole doesn’t hesitate to go over the top, both in terms of the killings and the dialogue (at one point Rouche asks, “How do you catch a killer who’s already dead?”). But this is a book that wears its intentions on its sleeve, and readers going in expecting even more gruesome thrills than Ragdoll will be satisfied. Agents: Esther Newberg and Zoe Sandler, ICM. (July)