BOOK REVIEW: JOSEPH KNOX – SIRENS

*Just a little note: this book may contain spoilers*

I want to start a new series. No, not a new Netflix series to binge-watch over and over but a series of books. I’ve read a few Lee Child books but always feel that I’m out of the loop and won’t catch up with them. So, I found a new series to binge-read in the form of Joseph Knox and his Aidan Waits’ series. The first book being Sirens, and it’s a hoot. A proper gritty crime thriller that you can get your teeth into and binge-read. Binge-reading is totally a thing, right? This book is that and more.

So, what is it about? This is what the blurb says:

Isabelle Rossiter has run away again.

When Aidan Waits, a troubled junior detective, is summoned to her father’s penthouse home, he finds a manipulative man, with powerful friends.

But retracing Isabelle’s steps through a dark, nocturnal world, Waits finds something else. An intelligent seventeen-year-old girl who’s scared to death of something. As he investigates her story, and the unsolved disappearance of a young woman just like her, he realises Isabelle was right to run away.

Soon Waits is cut loose by his superiors, stalked by an unseen killer and dangerously attracted to the wrong woman. He’s out of his depth and out of time.

How can he save the girl, when he can’t even save himself?

As well as starting a new series, I really wanted to read more crime. Something with a bit more grit, with a bit more edge. This book is great in regards to those two things. It’s a book that will grip you, make you squirm, make you gasp all at the same time. The writing is brilliant, Knox really draws you into this dark and dangerous world of Aidan Waits and the terrible crime. There’s humanity too in his writing that’s evident across the whole book. There were some beautiful descriptions of not only character but of Manchester – it almost feels as if it’s a character of it’s own in the book.

The character of Aidan Waits is an interesting one. He’s complex, complicated and makes an interesting read. You root for him and at the same time, want to scream and shout at him. With a series based on a character, you want him to be complicated and complex with many layers and Aidan has more layers than an onion. There’s depth there, a fragility about him that I’m excited to read more and more throughout the series.

The only downside of the book for me is the crime. It’s nothing exciting or challenging, I was more interested in the character of Aidan than the actual crime. But saying that, it’s a good introduction to the series and Aidan as a character. It’s a good debut for Knox too and while currently reading the second book, The Smiling Man, the crime is more interesting, complex and makes compulsive reading.

This book is visceral and alarming and the words bounce of the page. Every word has a meaning, every description has it’s own meaning. For me, the important thing about a crime/thriller book is pace. Short chapters, punchy dialogue, cracking story and brilliant characters. And Knox does all of that. There’s nothing more that I love than a short chapter, makes me keep on reading and reading. A total binge-read.

I’m currently reading (almost finished) The Smiling Man and it’s even better. I’m loving Aidan, he’s currently becoming one of my new favourite characters. We get to know more about him in The Smiling Man and I can’t wait to see what he, and Knox, gets up to next.

All that Aidan needs is a good coat and he’s perfect for a gritty BBC drama.

Have you read Sirens? Are you a fan of Aidan Waits? Let me know in the comments!

Thank you,

Corey.

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