The Puppet Maker
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Mulholland Books
21 April 2016
How do you catch a killer when no one knows he's out there? No one knew about the Puppet Maker until DI Jack Brady found what remained of his victims - the murderer never meant them to be found. They are his private collection; each body identical, each altered and Brady knows that now his secret is out, the killer will destroy the evidence - including his latest captive.
The story takes place over a three-day period, and Ramsay throws us straight into the action. The pace is good as Ramsay's details of her characters locations are very well described and the plot has plenty to engage the reader. There is certainly a lot going on in terms of plot and action, however her characters seem to lack the layers required to really get inside their heads. It is difficult to gage precisely where Brady is in terms of emotional drive, and this with the use of short sentences becomes quite distracting.
As the book reaches its dramatic conclusion it does give more in terms of drive, but Ramsay has given Brady a very dark past and this leads to a very dark narrative where there does not appear to be any kind of light or many elements to her character.
There are good points to this book; a psychopath who uses a disused mental asylum to torture his young victims is a good a plot as any, and if it is a good old fashioned murder book that you want to read then this could be it. As this is the fifth in the series of Jack Brady novels perhaps those more accustomed to Ramsay's writing and are already familiar with DI Brady will enjoy his latest investigation.