Publisher: Transworld Books
I fell in love with Aidan Waits from the moment I started Sirens. I still loved him here, even though he’s become more mature and he’s not such a lost cause as he was in the first book. Or maybe he still is, but he certainly seems to be improving. If you love flawed detectives, you really need to give this series a go. Aidan is the classic tortured soul: he has a history of drug abuse and also a weakness: he can’t stand to see a suffering young woman. He always does everything he can to help them out.
The Smiling Man by Joseph Knox grabbed me from the very beginning and it never let me go. I was fascinated by the different storylines: the smiling man that nobody seemed to know, young Sophie and Cartwright’s threat, Aidan being practically harassed by the other police officers… and my personal favorite, the fantastically creepy flashbacks featuring Wally and that cruel and evil man. This last one wasn’t entirely a surprise, but I loved it anyway.
The case involving the smiling man was so intriguing that I honestly had no idea of what had happened. There was a dead man at an abandoned hotel and the owners didn’t even talk to each other. The guard heard voices and was hurt by someone else. But were they even involved or was this totally unrelated? And what about the fact that the victim didn’t even have fingerprints? This storyline kept becoming more and more complex and mysterious and I really enjoyed the addition of the “missing missing” concept, which was incredibly interesting to read about.
Sutcliffe is rude and unlikable, but his working relationship with Aidan was pretty interesting to read. You could say they almost make a good team. Detectives working the night shift is not something that I usually come across in detective novels or films (there are some exceptions, of course), and that’s probably the reason why I think Sirens and The Smiling Man are unique crime books that every noir fan should read as soon as possible.
I love the dark and gritty world that Joseph Knox has crafted, and I can’t wait to read the next (and final?) installment in the Aidan Waits series. Also, I want to get to know him better, especially when it comes to his family and relationships. because… who exactly is Aidan Waits?
-What happened to you, by the way?
– I was in a fight.
She smiled, but genuinely this time.
-I meant before that.
Many thanks to the publishers for providing me a copy in exchange for an honest review