Joseph Knox’s debut novel is a fast paced, tightly plotted, gritty crime thriller that kept me turning the pages to the very last. I devoured it.
Sirens is an American Noir novel, but instead the back streets of LA, New York or New Orleans, we get Manchester’s dingy alleyways. Undercover detective Aidan Waits – addicted to just about every substance you can think of – is working to get inside a local drugs gang, where he finds a powerful politician’s daughter. Detective Waits finds himself in the way as politics, police and local drug lords collide.
Knox writes Manchester as a seedy, atmospheric rain sodden city, where the drug trade has become respectable, and politicians, drug lords, prostitutes, and drag queens rub shoulders in the city’s bars. Add to this the complicated but tight plot line, that moves at a clip, and you’ve got an efficient thriller that delivers plenty of entertainment.
Sirens has some of he most memorable characters I’ve read in a while too – a schizophrenic drag queen called the Bug, who knows the drug trade inside out is a particular highlight. I’m betting a few will make an appearance in whatever follow up Knox has planned.
Yep, if crime thrillers are your bag, or you’re into your American Noir, then this one is a good addition to your bookshelf. Recommended.