Thursday, 12 January 2017


Image result for Sirens joseph knox book

Debut novels are all the rage in this the early part of 2017, new crime voices are making big strides and in recent months I have reviewed thrilling bows from A. A. Dhand with Streets of Darkness and the impending arrival of Daniel Cole's Ragdoll.

Whilst Ragdoll is that mixture of genuine thriller writing, good plotting and the page turning abandon you find in Lee Child or Dan Brown novels; there is another new voice on the block. Joseph Knox is here to make himself heard and Lee Child himself, has been most praiseworthy of this debut novel.

Image result for Sirens joseph knox book

Sirens tells the story about DI Aidan Watts, a disgraced policeman in the Manchester Police Force, who whilst on suspension is asked for a special undercover role in finding a politican's daughter's whereabouts; but when Watts gets further into the loyalties of a crime lord he the past becomes murkier and the present day darker.

Knox in an interview with Radio 5 Live's Phil Williams last week said it took him the best part of seven years to finish the novel which prompted a bidding war between 10 publishers, with Doubleday/Transworld Publishers coming out on top.

Knox writes with a real verve and creates a foreboding atmosphere of a darker side of Manchester, much like Dhand did with Leeds and Bradford in his work.  The author has a keen eye on little details which he shares with Watts from the politician not wearing his wedding ring when away from his wife to the way people share looks and talk too loudly at house parties.

In the radio interview, Knox promised another novel starring Watts is in the works.  Whilst the line between good and evil is tread with fear by our protagonists, Knox is not afraid to take you to these places and his admiration for Manchester is clear to see. Should he continue to write with this flair and character, it will not be the last we hear of him.

Sirens is out from on Thursday 12th January from Doubleday Press/Transworld Publishers

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