Author: Daniel Cole
Eighteen months have passed, but the scars the Ragdoll murders left behind remain.
DCI Emily Baxter is summoned to a meeting with US Special Agents Elliot Curtis of the FBI and Damien Rouche of the CIA. There, she is presented with photographs of the latest copycat murder: a body contorted into a familiar pose, strung up impossibly on the other side of the world, the word BAIT carved deep into its chest.
As the media pressure intensifies, Baxter is ordered to assist with the investigation and attend the scene of another murder to discover the same word scrawled across the victim, carved across the corpse of the killer – PUPPET.
As the murders continue to grow in both spectacle and depravity on both sides of the Atlantic, the team helplessly play catch up. Their only hope: to work out who the ‘BAIT’ is intended for, how the ‘PUPPETS’ are chosen but, most importantly of all, who is holding the strings.
I was so excited to read the follow up to the hugely successful Ragdoll – and Hangman, the second in the Detective William Fawkes series, definitely doesn’t disappoint! Much like the first, it’s a rollercoaster of a ride of tension, mystery and general craziness as the focus turns to Baxter this time, and a string of gory murders in the US which have worryingly familiar elements to them…
I have to say, at first I was a little worried that I wouldn’t get to read about Fawkes, who I loved in the last book – however, Baxter more than makes up for it, truly shining with her cutting comments and no-nonsense attitude. I absolutely loved reading about her, and some new characters to add to the mix in Curtis and Rouche who, although very different to Baxter, is another brilliant character who kept me wanting to read on. The characters are really what makes this story such addictive reading; that mixed with brilliant humorous scenes (with a heavy dose of black humour, which I loved) and fantastic situations (some completely crazy and unbelievable, but who cares?) which kept me laughing throughout. It may have even beaten Ragdoll for me (no mean feat!), as I felt like I had more of a grasp on what was going on in this novel – well, to some extent – there was plenty to craziness to keep track of!
I’d forgotten how brilliantly entertaining Daniel Cole’s writing is, and Hangman left me desperately wanting more – that ending too! Bring on book 3 (and quickly, please!).
Many thanks to Orion for providing a copy of this novel on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.
Hangman is out in the UK on 22 March.
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