Sirens (Joseph Knox)


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 a ride! I loved this book and haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since I finished it. The first thing I did when I got to the end was asking the author, Joseph Knox, if there would be a sequel. Because this feels like the start of an amazing series.

Sirens is an incredibly strong debut and it’s also completely different from my most recent reads. It is not a psychological thriller, it is not a police procedural per se… and it’s not a small-town mystery. Sirens is a dark and gritty noir set in Manchester, and it was fantastic. I’ve read books like this one before (Dennis Lehane’s were the first that came to my mind), but it had been so long that I had almost forgotten how much I love this genre. Now I need to read something much lighter, though.

Sirens won’t be a book for everyone: don’t expect a simple mystery and only one bad guy. The plot is so complex that you will need some time to process all the information. There are even flashbacks that I hope we can explore a bit further in the next installments. And it’s not an easy read either, as it deals with some dark topics: drugs, abuse, multiple deaths… Not your typical Christmas read.

Aidan Waits is our main character and he’s a pretty fascinating one. Don’t worry, he’s the classic tortured detective: he’s flawed, he drinks and does drugs, and he doesn’t live a healthy life. But I was rooting for him since the beginning, as you could see he was a good guy underneath it all. And I loved his relationship with another peculiar character that appears later in the story. Because every tortured detective needs a bizarre friend.

Femme fatales, drug lords, dirty politicians… Sirens has all the right ingredients to become a classic noir novel, and it doesn’t disappoint. The plot is twisty and unpredictable, although I admit it felt a bit “too much” at certain parts. Like, can things go well for once? Waits can’t seem to catch a break… Let him be happy for one day!

This book left me exhausted, but in a good way. I was so immersed in Sirens‘ world that I even dreamt about drug dealers and corrupt detectives. I’m such a romantic.

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Transworld, 2017

32 thoughts on “Sirens (Joseph Knox)

  1. Books, Vertigo and Tea says:

    Haha, you romantic 😉 This one actually does sound quite fun! I must be tripping though because I though you reviewed this yesterday? Maybe someone else did and I am finally on too many meds. Loved this review. very fun. Your enthusiasm alone can sell me ❤


  2. Renee says:

    Great review Annie! When I’ve read the description for this book I thought it sounded like something Dennis Lehane would write so it’s even better it reminded you of his work. I can’t wait to read this one!


  3. Donna says:

    You’re my favorite romantic 😀 Sirens sounds like a heavy but fascinating read! I love twisty plots, your review screams action and the relentless pace of a strong noir.


  4. Diana says:

    Haha you such a romantic…not your typical Christmas read. .this review is full of gems,that’s how I can tell that you really loved the book.It sounds like an interesting read.I don’t think ive ever read this sort of cross-genre.


  5. Amanda @Cover2CoverMom says:

    This is the second rave review for this book I’ve read! I want to say the other one was Amy @NovelGossip? *I THINK* Anyways I find it fascinating that the lines are a little blurred here with the detective who is deeply flawed. Very interesting indeed. Great review Annie!


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