Author: Joseph Knox
Publication Date: 12th January 2017
About the book:
Sirens is the brooding and assured debut from Joseph Knox, the next big name in crime fiction.
Set in a sprawling, twilight northern city, Sirens introduces Aidan Waits, a disgraced young detective caught stealing drugs from evidence and subsequently blackmailed into going undercover. When an MP’s daughter runs away from home, Waits is sent to track her down and finds himself at the centre of a maelstrom of drugs, blackmail and deception.
Uncovering the motives of those involved, he’s thrown forwards through politicians, police and drug lords – towards a conclusion and a truth he really doesn’t want to know.
What I Thought:
Sirens is a fabulous debut novel from Joseph Knox. I actually found this difficult to review as a large part of me is sitting here shouting it’s fabulous just go and buy it! So I’ve broken down into sections.
Location: Sirens is set in Manchester, now anyone who has read many of my reviews knows I love reading a good story set somewhere I know well. I love being immersed into a story set in the streets I’ve walked down, Manchester is my dad’s home town and I spent a lot of time there in my youth, though perhaps not in some of the areas featured in Sirens, and you can tell Joseph is someone who really knows the city, this isn’t somewhere just randomly picked out of thin air to be the setting of the book. Even if you don’t know Manchester I think you’ll appreciate the feeling it gives you.
Characters: Disgraced Detective Constable Aidan Waits is a superb character, Waits has a great depth to his character, not the easiest person to work with he’s bounced around various teams before being caught taking drugs from evidence and convinced to go undercover. Waits certainly isn’t all bad, but he’s not your whiter than white perfect detective either, firmly encamped within the shades of grey for me Waits remains likeable flaws and all. I don’t want to talk too much about the other characters because I think a huge draw to the book is finding out more about them, I will say Joseph Knox creates a wonderful world of complex supporting characters.
Plot: Caught out with nowhere else to go DC Aidan Waits finds himself trapped between a rock and a hard place, tasked with tracking down the missing daughter of a Government Minister while also inserting himself into the depths of Manchester’s drug scene, run by the infamous Zain Carver. The story is well paced as Joseph Knox leads you down the rabbit hole with Waits. The twists keep you turning the pages as you try to work out who Waits can trust, and the motives behind everything. I don’t want to say anything more on the plot as it was a joy to turn each page and read as the story developed and I wouldn’t want to ruin that for anybody
Would I recommend it?
Without a shadow of a doubt, this book is a must for anyone who likes their crime fiction a little on the dark side. I can’t wait for more from Joseph Knox, the only thing that annoyed me was I picked it up at the beginning of a very busy work week and I had to keep putting it down to sleep! If you can pop into Waterstones for a copy, they have a special edition with red page edges and an additional short story.