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The Smiling Man

(Aidan Waits Thriller #2)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  1,579 ratings  ·  312 reviews
From the bestselling author of Sirens, Detective Aidan Waits returns - on the hunt to find the identity of The Smiling Man.

'An arresting new talent' Metro

‘I usually experienced the presence of a dead body as an absence, but in this case, it felt like a black hole opening up in front of me’
Disconnected from his history and careless of his future, Detective Aidan Waits has r
ebook, 400 pages
Published March 8th 2018 by Transworld Digital
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Average rating 4.16  · 
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 ·  1,579 ratings  ·  312 reviews

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Feb 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Manchester is a vibrant city, but like all major cities there's a darkness at it’s heart, and nowhere is this more visible than on the night shift which Detective Aidan Waits and his partner DI Peter Sutcliffe 'Sutty' inhabit.

After a somewhat dubious lifestyle, including drug abuse, an uncontrollable temper and other misdemeanours, Aidan is resigned to working the night shift with a partner he can't stand, and just for the record, the feeling is mutual.

When they receive a call to attend a break
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Sensational and Stunning Manchester Noir! Joseph Knox follows the brilliant Sirens with this incredible sequel that throws light on the flawed DC Aidan Waits devastating and dark history. Waits has been condemned to the never ending night shifts in the midnight city with the trying DI Peter 'Sutty' Sutcliffe, a man obsessed with continually wiping everything with his antiseptic tissues in the sweltering heat. Trash cans are being set alight, and an alt-right journalist, Oliver Cartwright is thre ...more
Miriam Smith
Feb 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: twitter
Oh wow!!!!........ I thought "Sirens" was good but "The Smiling Man" is on an even higher level entirely!
Gripping, compelling, thrilling and addictive.......I could go on, but basically I couldn't put it down it was so captivating. I seemed to be taking this book with me everywhere in order to snatch five minutes with it. After reading the initial, intriguing and shocking opening prologue I knew this was going to be a book that kept my attention from the start to the fantastic finish.
"The Smili
Feb 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
W O W !
A supernova masterpiece. Ten Stars again!

The best crime noir trilogy of all time. .

Even more dark, powerful and complex than his first book ... and it works! Everything works beautifully. The story is a finely crafted demon Swiss watch. There is astounding power and confidence here, incredible pacing and prose. Two books and Knox is already A Master.

Warning: Child peril/abuse in the flashback chapters of the monster Bateman (view spoiler)
Dec 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
4.5 stars
I didn’t read the first book in this series, and initially, I felt I was missing some of the background, but Knox did a good job of filling it in as the book progressed. And I really enjoyed the second.

Aidan is damaged goods. He’s been transferred to the night shift and is working with a DI who's almost useless. It’s obvious the higher ups want him to quit. But then the two of them come across a dead man in The Palace, a closed hotel. There are multiple crimes Waits is investigating, no
Jeffrey Keeten
”He was sitting in a chair, facing the window. He didn’t respond as I drew closer and I felt a cold sweat, itching out from my scalp. I wiped my face with my forearm, eyes not leaving the shape. As I came alongside him I saw that he was dead. His own sweat was glazed across his face, and I thought I could feel the heat pouring out of him. He looked well groomed for a midnight intruder, cleanly shaven with a sharp haircut. I stopped when I saw that his eyes were wide open. They were cobalt-blue a ...more
Jan 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Of course 5 stars, what else would it be??

This second instalment in Joseph Knox’s Manchester noir series cements his place at the very top of British crime writing. Clever, funny, with staggeringly layered and conflicted characters, this is unmissable storytelling.

Following the challenging and reputation destroying events in Sirens, DC Aiden Waits has been relegated to the night shift under the charge of the obnoxious DI Peter ‘Sutty’ Sutcliffe- the only one now willing to work with him. Thei
Jun 29, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 Stars
Nothing comes easy for Aidan Waits. He’s a disgraced, dishonest, and disliked police officer in England trying to do permanent night shift job and hopefully stay alive.
If only the world would cooperate with him! Instead author Joseph Knox clutters Aidan’s life with more trouble than half a dozen detectives should have to face. A young girl being blackmailed, an unidentifiable dead man in a seedy hotel where a security guard rents rooms to call girls, drug dealers and physical attacks ar
Liz Barnsley
Dec 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Incredible. Brilliant writing, brilliant characters, top notch storytelling with a heart of darkness and an emotional resonance rarely found in crime novels. Sirens was good. Very very good. This is another level. Loved loved it.

Descriptively speaking this is hard hitting and has a truly gripping authentic edge – following Aidan through the night shift with his erstwhile partner Sutcliffe, a strong sense of place sits right within the story, the dialogue sparkles with a gritty realism and you ju
Sep 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, give-aways
Great police/detective story! As this was the second in a series, I’m very curious to read the first book and see how our “hero” Aidan developed into the sarcastic, lower level constable which he is during The Smiling Man.

The story was always a decent pace, some action that wasn’t overbearing. I was quite surprised at the final outcome. You could definitely follow this story without the background of the first. A lot of Aidan’s past was revealed, much of it heart wrenching.

I recommend this book
Oct 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
While I enjoyed the first book "Sirens" from Mr. Knox, I freaking loved this book! It's just as grimy and gritty as I imagine some parts of Manchester would be, and I admit that with my intense dislike of cities, that I would avoid going there at all costs. I'm a country mouse! This is Mr. Knoxs' second book, but he reads like a seasoned pro! I thought Aiden and Sutty were the perfect team. They didn't seem to like each other much, but they're growing into it. Aiden is a bit broken, yet he's ful ...more
Feb 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In brief - Without doubt a "best of year" book - where's that 6th star when you need it!

I'd not come across this author, Joseph Knox, before however I quickly found his first book Sirens had collected some very good reviews. This one follows on from the first book although I didn't feel I was missing out on anything but not having read it (but I have a copy now). Due to past misdemeanours DC Aidan Waits is put on a permanent night shift with DI "Sutty" Sutcliffe. I quickly realised that they wer
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley-books
The Smiling Man by Joseph Knox is the second mystery in the Detective Aidan Waits series. The detective has been assigned to nightshift duty due to previous problems with drug abuse and temper control. His senior partner is Sully Sutcliffe, who is putting up with him until he either quits or gets fired. Nothing good is expected from Aidan Waits. The pair are called to answer a break-in alarm at an empty hotel in Manchester. Upon investigation, the detectives find an unconscious security guard an ...more
Mar 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

It's not often I'm drawn to signed editions of books, but while going through the crime section in a bookstore I saw this one. It was enough for me to pick a copy up a scan the blurb. What followed grabbed my attention a dark story of a detective on the hunt for an identity of a murdered man who has been stripped of anything that might give a clue to who he is. Not to mention the very creepy state in which he was left. It was also the fact that it was set in my home country, It's not often I p
Apr 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It’s no secret that I live in a dangerous, often lawless town. In Wellesley, ruthless street gangs run rampant – at a young age you are initiated into the either the Sharks, or my gang: the Jets. You cross either of us you are likely to experience your ass getting cut open with a switchblade, or perhaps even worse-- a jazzy little dance number. Now when you are a Jet, you are a Jet all the way. From your first cigarette to your last dying day. Jets hate the Sharks (mainly because they are from P ...more
Jan 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Smiling man

Visit the locations in the novel

If you thought Sirens was a blues and twos kind of ride, fast paced, noisy and chaotic, then this is Sirens with bells on!

Gritty, down right brutal and not for the faint hearted. Manchester has a dark dark heart it would seem, well at least in this novel but there's some clever commentary woven in about the city in real life, how its history has shaped it, the importance of China town etc.... very nicely done.

Characters are razor sharp and that smiling man?Oh dea
Mar 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-thrillers
The Smiling Man – A Manc Noir Classic

Joseph Knox has created a defective detective series based around, bent, possibly corrupt copper trying to go straight, Aidan Watts. A detective whose city beat is around the City Centre of Manchester, and the places do exist, even if a bit of artistic licence is used. An example being St Mary’s hospital, you will find it is the maternity hospital, the MRI is around the corner, which has the A & E. But that is me being a pedant, sorry.

Aidan Watts has been dum
Wow! Wow! Wow!

Thanks fo Netgalley who provides this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Want honesty? This was a fantastic read! Many books claim to be books one can’t put down; The Smiling Man is truly a one-sitting won’t be able to put down.

The novel is a dark cop noir on the gritty streets of Manchester England. It follows detective Aidan Waits (a sort of ne’er-do-well with a shady past) as he is relegated to patrol the night shift with his partner, the sharp-tongued Sutty.

Jun 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
#2 in Knox's Aidan Waits series set in Manchester and after reading "Sirens" I was eager to see where the author would take us next and it turned out to be a very good journey. Now on the permanent night shift, with the grumpiest partner known to modern man, Aiden Waits is called out to a shut down, formerly posh hotel where they find a mysterious dead man. A man with absolutely no ID......and a smile on his face. The investigation takes them to some unusual places and some unusual people, but t ...more
Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)
Aidan Waites is BACK! I thoroughly enjoyed Sirens, book one in this series. It's dark, gritty and the underbelly of society in crime fiction. So thrilled to have finally read book two. Knox really gets into Aidan's past and shows us why he's such a great anti-hero.

What I loved best is the humor that was trickled throughout. I love a good giggle and the play son Waites's name... one guy kept calling him Heavy and I don't know why but I cackled at this for some reason. 🤣And then there was this int
Mar 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
For me, the sign of a great read is when my copy of the book is bursting with post-it stickers. I used a lot of post-its on this book, in fact there's so many that I have had difficulty in choosing specific phrases to concentrate on.

I adored Joseph Knox's first book, Sirens, and had waited with great anticipation for the next book. Well, if Sirens was great, this one is excellent. I was gripped, completely engrossed from page one.

Joseph Knox is such a competent author; The Smiling Man is urban n
Mandy White
Feb 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: net-galley
The Smiling Man by Joseph Knox is the second book featuring Aidan Waits but the first that I have read. I did feel that I missed a bit in not reading the first book Sirens but mostly I managed to follow this book.

Detective Aiden Watts works the night shift in Manchester... mainly being called out to public disturbances and dead ends. One night he and his partner Suttey are called out to an apparent break in at the abandoned Palace Hotel. After finding the security guard knocked out they check th
May 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-have
Terrific gritty police story set in the dark dreary land of Manchester, England. Unlike many investigative stories, the lead character Aiden is not some perfect detective with a crack team of criminalists standing behind him, but a disgraced bitter guy living on the edge and haunted by his childhood and the things he does when he’s out of control. The ultimate story may be about those living in the edge, not the murder clues. From page one straight to the end, it is just an absolutely awesome re ...more
May 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Knox has a way with words. Its an elegance that not many write with. Such a talent. This time we have a murder and Aidan is back dealing with this but obviously his personal issues as well. The plotting is well constructed but my issue with Knox and his novels is that at times theboace can become a little slow. However I still enjoyed this alot. Gritty dark and the seedy underbelly exposed. Great stuff.
This was even more unputdownable than the first in the series - seriously sleep defying !
I finished it at 1.30am last night.

Full of unexpected twists, great dialogue and brilliant characters, not least the seriously damaged main character, Aidan Waits. Very clever use of a sub plot (featuring one of the most chilling evil doers that I've come across, "Bateman") that runs alongside the main one until eventually the link is revealed and it almost becomes more important than the main plot - like r
Sirens was remarkable but The Smiling Man surpasses it. Superb!

Apr 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes I wish I could get away with a one sentence review. This one would say : Drop whatever it is you’re doing and grab yourself a copy of this right now!

When I read Sirens last year, I wanted to shout about its awesomeness from the rooftops. I didn’t have a blog yet at the time, but that book was one of the reasons I started considering one. From the setting to the fabulous cast of characters, from the writing to the plot, I couldn’t quite wrap my head around the fact that Sirens was a deb
Feb 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Smiling Man by Joseph Knox is the second novel with troubled detective Aidan Waits. A corpse is found in an empty room in a closed hotel after an alarm is reported. Waits, along with his partner "Sutty" Sutcliffe, still exiled to working the graveyard shift, respond to the alarm and discover the corpse, which is soon nicknamed "The Smiling Man" due to the grimace left upon his face after death.

The novel then details the investigation to learn the identity of the mystery corpse, while Waits
Maureen Carden
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I would give this six stars if possible. An intense, tough story, a shining follow up to Knox's outstandingSirens.
Mar 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-cops
I fell in love with Aidan Waits from the moment I started Sirens. I still loved him here, even though he’s become more mature and he’s not such a lost cause as he was in the first book. Or maybe he still is, but he certainly seems to be improving. If you love flawed detectives, you really need to give this series a go. Aidan is the classic tortured soul: he has a history of drug abuse and also a weakness: he can’t stand to see a suffering young woman. He always does everything he can to help the ...more
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