Ragdoll by Daniel Cole: one of the best books I have ever read

I’ve never taken part in a blog tour before – I’ve only had my blog for a couple of weeks – and I couldn’t think of a better book to pop my blog tour cherry with.

0k4gqfcc-jpg-largeIt’s no secret to anyone who knows me that, while the books I write are heartwarming and romantic, I am a huge fan of crime thrillers – the darker and more gruesome the better.  I’ve read a lot of them, I’ve inhaled them and raved about them, and when I got my hands on a proof of Ragdoll I’d already heard a lot about it.  I was excited, I had high expectations, but it turned out my expectations weren’t close to scaling the dizzy heights of brilliance that Daniel Cole reaches.

It is, quite simply, one of the best books I have ever read.

Usually it takes me a few chapters to get into a book, to feel at home with the characters and work out who I care about, and to get swept up in the plot, but Ragdoll had me from the first page.  I could have raced through it and finished it in a couple of days, but I already knew it was special, that I needed to savour every word, and so I restricted it to bedtime reading, when there would be no television or tweets to distract me and I could give it my whole attention.

It is satisfying on so many levels, and so perfectly balanced that nothing feels weak or out of place.  It has a fantastically gruesome opening, and the premise is genius.  It’s laugh-out-loud funny, but the humour doesn’t take away from the tension at all.  And there are the wonderful characters, who I cared about as much as I did the resolution of the case.  It’s an adrenaline-fuelled ride, but one that retains its emotion and heart, which makes it all the more chew-your-fingers-down-to-the-knuckle stressful.

And it has Wolf, who is my new favourite fictional hero.  Everyone loves a sexy, tortured hero (don’t they?) but so often they’re over-macho; they power through, physical blows glancing off them, foiling the baddie with relative ease at the end and coming out as some kind of unnatural superman.  Wolf is different.  He’s flawed, he has moments of real weakness and self-doubt, but his heart is undeniably in the right place.  He’s loveable and believable.  He has a Bon Jovi Keep the Faith tour T-shirt.

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I’m not kissing it, honest!

Daniel Cole is an incredible, brave writer, and I’d be gutted if I hadn’t seen that it was the first in a series.  I can’t wait for book two, and I already know that it will be shocking and hilarious and brilliant.

I am very very lucky to be going to the launch this evening.  I am going to try (and inevitably fail) to remain cool and composed and not fall in a gushing puddle of admiration at Daniel Cole’s feet.

Ragdoll is scary and funny and tense and warm and emotional and dark – and it’s all of those things in spades!  Believe the hype.  Read it.  Whimper a lot, snort tea out of your nose and fall in love with it.

It has hooked me completely, and this is one occasion when I’m very happy to be a victim

 

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