Year 2 / Book 10: Sirens

10) Sirens by Joseph Knox

God bless the community book share at Acton Central. This is a recently released thriller with lots of favourable reviews, and I had mentally consigned it to the “wait till it comes out in paperback” list but then found an uncorrected authors proof at Acton station. If you work in publishing near there, thanks very much.

Anyway, Sirens is a dark crime thriller set in Manchester, and it is a suitably twisty, gnarled tale involving plenty of drugs, Mancunian Bloods and Crips, police at the edge of the law, politics and an unsolved case….all centred round the main character of Aidan Waits, who is sent in an undercover role in to the drug world of the city. He finds himself increasingly embroiled and invested in the lives of the women (the sirens of the title as much as the ones on police cars) and men he meets.

I enjoyed it. The first half is slower but very atmospheric and you get a real sense of Manchester as a place in all its variety. The second half ratchets up and the pages turned a lot faster in the last third of the book particularly. The plot is satisfyingly complex but that did also mean that some elements felt less real and likely than others – it took the author eight years to write and at times I wondered whether he was simply trying to get too much in. Could it have been pared down a little? Possibly, in a few places.

Overall, though, it’s a satisfyingly chunky read with plenty to get your readerly teeth into, and plenty to grip the attention. Knox will be worth watching as a crime writer in the years to come.

Score: 7/10

BUY IT HERE! Sirens (Aidan Waits)

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