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Publisher's Summary

Eighteen months have passed, but the scars the Ragdoll murders left behind are reopened on a daily basis, the legacy of the infamous investigation infecting all aspects of daily life. 

Despite the media's best efforts, copycat murders all over the planet have proven to be nothing more than violent mutilations by the unimaginative and deranged. Andrea Hall's memoirs are topping the charts, while Halloween saw children all over the country distastefully donning grotesque costumes of the real-life monster in their midst. The Ragdoll, apparently, was here to stay. 

Overpromoted into the role of Chief Inspector following her work on the case, Emily Baxter is ill suited to her new bureaucratic posting. Alex Edmunds won't admit it, but he is bored, too, having returned to his monotonous job in Fraud after fighting so hard to escape. When Baxter is summoned to a meeting with Special Agents Elliot Curtis of the FBI and Damien Rouche of the CIA, she is presented with graphic photographs of the latest copycat murder: a body contorted into a familiar pose, strung up impossibly across the Brooklyn Bridge, the word BAIT carved deep into its chest. The victim's name: William Fawkes, a Wall Street banker, giving a very clear message that this murder is different to the others. 

Baxter is ordered to assist the unrelentingly professional Curtis and the charmingly eccentric Rouche with their investigation, another PR exercise to appease the ever-demanding public. Accompanying them to New York and the scene of another murder, they find the same word scrawled across the victim, torn into the assailant - the word PUPPET. The team helplessly play catch-up as the murders continue to grow in both spectacle and depravity on both sides of the Atlantic, building towards a devastating crescendo. Their only hope: to work out who the bait is intended for, how the Puppets are chosen and, most importantly of all, who is holding the strings. 

©2018 Daniel Cole (P)2018 Orion Publishing Group Limited

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  • Simon
  • 03-23-18

Cole Paints Two Towns Red!

Debut authors who come up with a successful opening book in a crime series based around a charismatic lead probably consider many strategies when they come to write the follow-up. I seriously doubt that many of them take the path Daniel Cole has by benching his star player for the big game. Fewer still make an equally compelling second novel by doing so but somehow Cole has done just that.

After Fawkes comes the curmudgeonly Emily Baxter, recently promoted to DCI after wrongly being credited for the Ragdoll murderer's capture. She's already in a bad place and Cole viciously propels her into his one man attempt to remedy global over-population as grisly murders start popping up on both sides of the Atlantic strewing bodies over London and New York.

The US involvement partners her with the CIA's Damien Rouche, a charmingly enigmatic agent and the ultra professional Elliot Curtis of the FBI. What follows is a spectacularly over the top adrenaline ride through a macabre series of events that escalate continually towards the book's ultimate conclusion.

The narration by Andrew Wincott is excellent and he delivers all of the key aspects of the book; the macabre, the action scenes, the tension and the regular dark humour with considerable aplomb. And there is humour in amongst all the twisted emotions and the scarred bodies with the spider scene being a classic ice breaker. It seals the deal about the chemistry between the characters.

This is macabre, fast-moving and indeed pretty brutal stuff. It is a bit far-fetched at times but if you can live with this then you should make some time in your life for Hangman.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Kimberley Cross
  • 05-02-18

Not as good as the first...

Enjoyed the narration but the story did not hook me as much as the first.... having said that however... looking forward to the next instalment!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-28-18

Fab listen

Def as good as the first book. I can't wait for the next instalment to see what happens next.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Snowdrop
  • 04-04-18

Marmite ....

Ragdoll and Hangman - you will love them or hate them. I love them. This second in the series is probably better in some ways, than the first. Without giving anything away, the lead character is different. It's a real page turner - I pre-ordered it and couldn't wait for the 22nd March. Pity we may have to wait another 2 years for the next one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr. S. M. Elliott
  • 09-25-18

Keeps improving.

I found this better than the first. The characters are more developed and the author seems more assured in the story and it's direction. The dual location of the plot is also a good development. I would recommend this book.