On one of my numerous potential book trawls, I saw this on the list for the most anticipated books of 2017. I can see why.

I make no secret of my utter admiration for the books that Mark Billingham gives us, so take this as it is meant when I say that Ragdoll had echoes of Mark Billingham mixed in with the novels of Chris Carter. It was gritty, well-crafted and just oozed tension and thrills.

There is this tenderness in the relationship between 'Wolf' and Emily which adds a sense of lightness to the book. And it was this, coupled with the highlights of humour that lifted it to the dizzy heights of a 'Must Read' recommendation.

Detective William 'Wolf' Hawkes is fully formed as a character considering this is hopefully (better be!) the first in a series. Actually I better preface that by saying I have no idea if this is the start of a series, I've just assumed it is. It'd be an awful waste of characters if it wasn't! Anyway, Wolf has already got this whole backstory which litters the book without ever overwhelming it, so everything he does makes complete and utter sense. Likewise his partner Detective Emily Baxter is already totally formed in my head, it's almost as if I've been watching the movie as I've read it. I liked her a lot; she's got this sense of loyalty and determination, coupled with her obvious duty as a policewoman which makes her a strong character. She doesn't play second fiddle to Wolf either, she's right up there, equal in every sense.

And I'm just going to briefly mention the other main players in this: Edmunds and DCI Simmons. Whilst we're not given that much about them, I can't help but hope they're also carried forward in future books. They both played their roles really well I thought and have such potential for further development. In fact the same could be said for every character that appeared; each of them totally fulfilled their role, Daniel Cole didn't waste any of them - even the victims weren't thrown away.

The story itself is great, from the beginning the pace is there, steadily building without ever rushing. I mean there's six potential victims to save, in addition to finding out who makes up the actual 'ragdoll' discovered at the start of the book. That's a lot to be packed into one story, but it's done with such real skill that it's hard to believe that this is Cole's debut novel. And I shall say nothing more on the plot because in no way am I going to be the one that spoils it for you, but you won't want to put it down that's for sure.

This is such a superb read, I savoured each delicious word of it. Ragdoll is published on 23rd February 2017 - mark it on your calendar and clear your schedule. This is going to be a huge hit.