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Sirens by Joseph Knox
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Powerful. Gripping. Heartbreaking. Dirty. Gritty. Messy. Fantastic police thriller that takes you places you never expected to go. Drugs, corruption, gang wars, missing teenage girls, undercover work. Every single page in this book is powerfully written. It is perfectly plotted and keeps drawing you further and further into the story.

The basic plot of a detective going undercover into a drug gang to find a missing girl at the behest of her rich powerful father has been lots of times before, but this story is so much more. It's a disgraced police detective popping drugs and spinning out of control. There's no one he can trust. He's out on the high wire without a net. And you can feel his emotions, his panic, his frustration in each sentence.

Absolutely terrific. ( )
  DaveWilde | Sep 22, 2017 |
Superb debut crime novel - 'The Line of Duty meets The Wire in Manchester' - read my full review at Shiny New Books here ( )
  gaskella | Mar 4, 2017 |
Somehow I couldn’t make myself like this novel, though I tried as hard as I could.

Knox’s prose is sound enough, but I just couldn’t engage with either the plotline or the principal characters. It revolves around Aidan Waits, a detective constable in deep cover investigating the club scene in Manchester. Having been summoned back to base he is commissioned to search for the missing daughter of a leading local politician. The girl had last been seen on the fringes of the club/drug scene, and in particular in the hinterland of local super dealer Zain Carver. Waits goes even deeper under cover, and manages to infiltrate Carver’s inner circle, and even to locate the missing girl, but that proves only to be the start of the trouble.

Even allowing for my total lack of familiarity with the setting, I found that the story simply taxed my credibility too far and too often. The plot just didn’t seem to hold water, and I found that some of the characters struggled even to be two dimensional. ( )
  Eyejaybee | Feb 18, 2017 |
Joseph Knox is one of a new breed of crime writers creating gritty stories based around the northern industrial gang ridden Manchester belt. What he does he does extremely well exposing vice and corruption in the underbelly of inner city life. Aidan Waits is a detective living on the edge quite happy to accept the odd little gift, enjoy a crafty snifter, or test the strength of his septum by sniffing copious amounts of cocaine. When his boss Superintendant Parrs confronts Waits, outlining his numerous misdemeanours, he suggests a solution that will benefit both parties. Aidan must agree to infiltrate and feedback intelligence on the activities of gang supremo Zain Carver and the only way to achieve this is to go deep undercover......

Although this is a well written story and there are many and varied characters on show in a city overflowing with illegal late night activity, it was not a novel I particularly enjoyed. I realize that this is probably the first in a new series, by a writer who some may well view as a new Lee Child or Simon Kernick, but for me as a standalone work it failed to inspire. I need my crime to be riddled with characters who appear to be strong on the surface but are consumed by doubt and indecision. I want to explore their weaknesses and to be shown how this impacts on their daily existence not only for them but for the immediate family and loved ones. I read this story in two sittings and found the content more akin to a script for a well made tv series, enough to keep me entertained but little to entice me to return. Many thanks to the publishers who in return for an honest review supplied me with a gratis copy, and that is what I have written. ( )
  runner56 | Feb 11, 2017 |
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