By Joseph Knox
Published by Doubleday (12 January 2017)
It starts with the girl. How it ends is up to DC Aidan Waits.
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 realizes 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?
My verdictSirens is a powerful crime novel filled with emotion and darkness.
Although set in Manchester, Sirens has a classic US feel to it (echoes of Raymond Chandler), with taut rhythmic narrative, powerful dialogue, realistic characters and a multi-layered plot. It's intense, violent, tragic and stunningly written, pulling the punches with every sentence and tricking the reader right until the shocking end.
Detective Aiden Waits is far more than your usual disgraced detective, haunted by his past and unsure of his future. While keeping an eye on an MP's wayward daughter, he gets caught up with Manchester's drug lords and ends up out of his depth as the body count rises. He's as damaged as you can get, addicted to drink and drugs while he works undercover. Yet he's still extremely likeable and I couldn't help but feel for him, willing for him to climb out of his pit of despair.
Joseph Knox has a distinctive voice, and Sirens certainly doesn't read like a debut. Like the Sirens of the Greek mythology, this book lured me in straight away and refused to let go long after I finished reading.
I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher.