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A horrible ‘Ragdoll’ for adults only

Cozy British mysteries your thing? So avoid rag doll at all costs.

“What bad?” asks an officer arriving at a gruesome crime scene that kicks off the twisted six-part thriller. “They’re going to do a podcast out of this,” a fellow cop mutters.

This feverish freak show, with episodes airing weekly on AMC+, sails in gallows humor so as not to scream its bloody head. (The series shares executive producer DNA with Kill Eve, and it shows.) Not for the faint-hearted, or for those who object to the diabolically improbable, rag doll teases the kind of macabre mastermind that would be Hannibal Lecter’s neighbor.

But first, in a prologue set two years earlier, we see the work of a demon called the “Cremation Killer,” an incendiary horror image that puts Detective Sergeant Nathan Rose (Henry Lloyd- Hughes) to his core, derailing his career. and land him for a while in an institution. Flash to the present, and Rose is assigned an even more troubling case with unsavory ties to her earlier history with the cremation creep.

The madness begins with the discovery in London of a corpse sewn from the extremities of six different victims of varying genders and ethnicities. Ergo, “Ragdoll” (and there’s a lot of sport about who gets the naming rights). This harrowing discovery is soon followed by the arrival of a victim list naming six other potential victims, including the emotionally fragile Rose, whose PTSD issues flare up at the most inopportune times.

Nadav Kander/BBCS/UK TV/AMC

It’s a hopeless case of a ticking time bomb, but Rose hasn’t lost the gift of irreverent banter, which he shares freely with his boss and former partner, prickly but protective DI Emily Baxter (Thalissa Teixeira), who also mentors a solemn new American rookie DC Lake Edmunds (Pretty little Liars‘ Lucy Hale, effectively deglamorized). The newbie is skeptical of the unstable Rose and her unorthodox methods, and doesn’t even seem to appreciate her morbid sense of humor. (“I hate having to apologize for really weak jokes,” Rose complains.)

Soon no one is laughing as the “Ragdoll Killer” begins to pursue his new targets in spectacularly baroque fashion, always seeming to be several steps ahead of the police. The death scenes in the first three episodes available for preview are, to say the least, nightmarish.

Don’t try to make sense of it all. Just cover your eyes and watch if you dare.

rag dollSeries premiere, Thursday, November 11, AMC+