A locked room. A dead body. A secret that went to the grave.
When retired police officer Finlay Shaw is found dead in a locked room, everyone thinks it’s suicide. But disgraced detective William ‘Wolf’ Fawkes isn’t so sure.
Together with his former partner Detective Emily Baxter and private detective Edmunds, Wolf’s team begin to dig into Shaw’s early days on the beat. Was Shaw as innocent as he seemed? Or is there more to his past than he’d ever let on?
But not everyone wants Wolf back – and as his investigation draws him ever deeper into police corruption, it will not only be his career on the line – but the lives of those he holds closest as well… (Goodreads)
WARNING: Before I go into my review for Endgame, be aware there may be a few spoilers from the previous books; Ragdoll and Hangman. I don’t like giving spoilers but it is difficult to avoid them. So, with that warning, lets dive in to the review.
With a title like “Endgame” and coming out the same year as the conclusion to the Marvel cinematic universe with the same title, this book has a lot of hype to live up to. Coupled with the fact that I adored both Ragdoll and Hangman, I was beyond excited to read this book. So, did Endgame give a satisfactory conclusion to the series? (So far….)
The answer is both Yes… and No.
The highlight of this book is definitely the return of Wolf. For me he was sorely missed in Hangman, even though Rouche was a very good substitute. Endgame explains why Wolf has suddenly re-appeared on the scene, voluntarily, even though he is a wanted man.
The rapport between Baxter and Edmunds is quickly re-established, yet Wolf seems to have had a weight lifted off his shoulders. Yes, there is still a sense of guilt in him over abandoning Baxter to the events of in Hangman. Though he is part of the investigation into the death of his mentor, it has come with conditions from one of the top brass.
It’s the characters that really elevate this book and seeing how the group has moved on, but they put their differences behind them to rally together. The interaction between the characters is a joy to read and I empathised with them as they were challenged.
One of the surprising things in this book was the romantic development between two of the characters. This was hinted at in a previous book, but I was still pleasantly surprised by it all.
There is one scene in the book that really stands out for me due to the pure comedic element to it. It centres around Wolf taking charge of a meeting and he is trying to bring everyone up to speed on the investigation. Cole has cleverly added some “illustrations” to show what the people in the room see. I will be honest, I laughed out loud so hard at it.
The only thing that slightly disappointed me about this book was the actual mystery surrounding the death of Finlay Shaw. The person behind his death, was quickly identified, at least by me pretty early on in the book. The motive behind it was a bit more complex.
The flashbacks to flesh out Finlay’s backstory were another highlight to the book. At times, they reminded me of the tv Show Life on Mars and were highly entertaining. At the time I didn’t fully appreciate on how they related to the present-day case, until the last few chapters.
If this is the last book in the series, then it is a perfect send off to these characters.
By looking inward and taking a more intimate setting, Endgame is a brilliant character focused book. The events in the previous books have left scars on the characters, both physically and mentally. Though you don’t need to have read Ragdoll and Hangman to fully appreciate the book, the little easter eggs sprinkled about, take the book to the next level.
I really can’t wait to see what Cole will write next.
RAGDOLL SERIES IN ORDER