Many thanks to the publisher for giving me the chance to read this early.
So how do you follow Sirens, one of crime writing’s great debut novels? Simple: you write The Smiling Man, and what follows is a stunningly sen-sodding-sational read of the highest quality. This is why I read crime fiction; it hits all the reading senses.
This is going to be one one of the smash hits of the year. It oozes style. Gritty and compelling in equal measure, it has the maturity of seasoned crime writer.
Working nights Aidan Watts and his partner are called to the Palace Theatre where they soon discover the body of a man with a smile on his face.
No spoilers here, but what follows is a multi layered beautifully crafted plot with a terrific back story of Watts’ past integral to the storyline.
Joseph Knox has written a great cast of central characters. Here you get more of Aidan Watts and the man he has become – flawed yes, and with plenty of baggage but you can’t help but root for him. The pace of the story is spot on and you will be left guessing right up to the end, as all the threads of the story are knitted together.
This is a deliciously drawn and poetically descriptive slice of Manchester life, northern noir at its very best. One of those books that you need to take in and breathe every word, thanks to the quality of the writing,
Think Chandler or any of the great hard boiled crime writers for the present day, but with Joseph Knox own style.
If you thought Sirens was good, you are in for a treat because here you are taken on a reading journey to another level.
Joseph Know has elevated himself into the champions league of today’s crime writers.