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(Aidan Waits Thriller #1)

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  3,369 ratings  ·  535 reviews
The breathtakingly propulsive and stunningly assured debut thriller, perfect for readers of Tana French, Don Winslow, and Dennis Lehane

The mission is suicide.

Infiltrating the inner circle of enigmatic criminal Zain Carver is dangerous enough. Pulling it off while also rescuing Isabelle Rossiter, a runaway politician's daughter, from Zain's influence? Impossible. That's why
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published February 20th 2018 by Crown Publishing Group (NY) (first published January 12th 2017)
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This is a bleak, atmospheric and compulsive debut novel by this author. It is Manchester Noir at its finest, trawling through the rain sodden and dark nights of the violent and brutal criminal underbelly of the city. The eponymous Sirens are the young women drug cash collectors from the pubs and clubs for the drug lord Zain Carver. These women have no option of leaving the trade, and are facing a short and deadly future. Aidan Waits is working undercover in this dark murky world with the aim of ...more
Mar 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just today received the British hardcover edition of this book, now I have both the American and the British. Since I am half way through the book, I'm going to switch books. I must admit that the British edition is beautiful - a better dust jacket and the end papers are to die for. The end papers consist of the album cover of "Unknown Pleasures" by Joy Division.

As an added bonus, at the end of the novel there is an additional short story staring the books main character Aiden Waits. This appe
Jeffrey Keeten
”I realized I’d been grateful for the madness. Without it, memories swelled, bruised and blossomed, until I thought I must be wearing them on my face like black eyes. I turned and looked out the window.

Gray Britain.”

Aidan Waits has been assigned the graveyard shift. He is still a cop, but skating on thin ice. Waits’s career has burned down to the filter, and all that remains is for his boss to let it drop to the pavement and grind out the last sparks with the toe of his tasselled shoe.

The thin
Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
W O W !


First novel by Knox, a Masterpiece. Utterly thrilling.

The best crime noir trilogy of all time. .

There should be a word for it. That phantom limb, reaching out from your chest, towards things you’ll never have.

Complex and very dark, painful and relentless, brutally real and noir and powerful, with superb prose... And best of all, even so young, the tragic hero is my favourite kind of gumshoe: the Philosopher-Detective. A truly extraordinary book.

Astounding that this is Knox's
Miriam Smith (A Mother’s Musings)
"Sirens" by Joseph Knox is the edgy, debut crime novel in the Detective Constable Aidan Waits series and a cracking thriller it is too!
I was totally intrigued with the start of this intense and haunting book, really keeping my attention to a point I was refusing to put it down. Gritty, sometimes brutal, dark and I imagine quite often true to life, we really see into the murky, seedy and nefarious activities that go on in the criminal world of late night Manchester.
The 'Sirens' are a network of
Oct 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Sometimes you pick up a crime novel and are immediately taken with the Detective, you'll follow them into the depths of Hell just to see how they get s*** done. Other times the plot weaves a web from which you can't escape, you wonder at its intricacy and cleverness, you marvel at how it tricks you. If you're lucky, you get a bit of both. Then occasionally you get one like this. And all you can think is that this is not like the others. Aiden Waits is one of those. This dark Manchester world is ...more
Maureen Carden
For every hit, toke, tab, line, and shot taken, someone in the background of drug dealing has died. Someone else has been enslaved, another person is forced into the sex trade, or a cop has been corrupted. The only exceptions might be homegrown in your backyard. Scoring prescriptions-just means you will most likely die. This is my background. I know this.
So does Joseph Knox as he so ably demonstrates in his outstanding debut “Sirens”. “Siren’s” dark gritty world might be different from the real
Liz Barnsley
Ok so I’ve been sat here for a while having no earthly idea what to say about Sirens that could possibly get across how emotionally traumatised I am right now having been put through the wringer by debut author Joseph Knox – with whom I shall be having words. Serious words. Here we are (at time of writing) gone 11pm on a Sunday night and I seriously doubt I’ll be sleeping anytime soon. Someone for the love of everything send me all the ice cream…

I can’t remember the last time I read a crime nove
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: publisher, reviewed
This is a very dark crime novel. I can see it as a movie directed by Guy Ritchie or Danny Boyle. The book starts with Detective Constable Aidan Waits and his partner seeing a newspaper article about the death of a 23 year old woman. Waits had met her a year ago and most of the rest of the book is a flashback to what happened then and why Waits has been permanently relegated to the night shift.

Waits has a drug problem and agrees to go undercover to avoid punishment by the police department. He i
Aug 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: public-library
A disgraced police detective, Aidan Waits, works on the down-low for a rich man whose daughter is in the wind.  Waits is a speed freak and is more than a little fond of his drink.  There is some dark humor here, little digs and pokes that were enjoyable.  As the body count mounted, I was still looking for something new and different.  I will say there is a police "interrogation" near the end that was gripping.       

The short chapters were distracting and chopped things up into a hash that didn'
Edward Lorn
Mar 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
This is one of those rare times I hate reviewing review copies. Crown Publishing sent me this book in exchange for an honest opinion and that's the only reason I'm bothering to review this at all. If I don't review it, they won't send me another book. Simple as that.

Life is too short to read the same shit over and over and over...SIRENS is the worst kind of thriller. You have you cliched cop, your sultry vixen, your rich asshole, your blah blah blah...

“After all, it's one thing to run away when someone's chasing you. It's entirely another to be running all alone.”

----Jennifer E. Smith

Joseph Knox, an English author, pens his debut crime fiction, Sirens in which the author weaves a bone-chilling and terribly horrifying yet honest tale set against the ugliest and grimy backdrop of Manchester where a disgraced police detective is blackmailed to bring back a reputed MP's teenage runaway daughter safely and discreetly from the clutches of a not
Jan 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All of my reviews can be found on

I am on a roll so far for 2017, I’ve read some seriously amazing books and this may be my favorite read of the year thus far. Yes, I know we’re only a few weeks into the new year, but I don’t think time will dull my feelings about Sirens, it is a stunning debut that knocked me off of me feet and as a new voice in crime fiction, Knox is a force to be reckoned with.

Aidan Waits is not your typical crime fiction protagonist, yes he’s a detective b
Sep 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3 - 4 stars. I’m a bit like a metronome with this one. 3 stars? 4 stars? My heads going backwards and forwards. Plumped for the 4 as it’s a nice day. Logic? Course not. Just means I’m in a good mood.

The central character is under cover cop DC Aidan Waits and the setting is in and around Manchester. I can’t say I find him a very sympathetic character and I don’t instinctively like him but I may warm to him in future books. He is dogged and determined and he does care about getting to the truth e
Kate~Bibliophile Book Club
Sirens is an absolutely stunning book in every way. Not only is it captivating, dark and gritty, but it is also the authors DEBUT novel. Why should that be in bold?! Well let me tell you…

I’ve read a lot of books, especially crime, so I’d like to think I can spot a good one. Sirens is one of those books that don’t come round very often. It is gripping, haunting and so deliciously dark that you just wont be able to put it down. I think it is so completely brilliant that I would be surprised if it
Apr 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-uno, 2018
There should be a word for it. That phantom limb, reaching out from your chest, towards things you’ll never have.

3.75 stars. If there's one word to describe Joseph Knox's debut novel and the first book in the Aidan Waits series, it's grittySirens is a dark and compelling tale about the harsh realities of the drug world from the perspective of an undercover detective in far over his head. It's a tale that will stick with you far beyond the final page.

Knox has a distinctive writing style tha
Jan 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, motley-list-6
It is quite remarkable that this is a debut novel. Joseph Knox writes with a veteran’s style and in crisp compelling chapters that propel the action forward whilst giving little away as to the outcome.
This is an unconventional crime thriller. It is unclear who is bad and who is worse.
Detective Aidan Waits faces dismissal over some shady practises, where it is clear he mishandled evidence and might have taken some drugs away. You still feel he is ok as a leading officer and while he is under susp
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley-books
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
Apr 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
I started this a second time as I wasn't ready for something so bleak and dark. The themes throughout are so dark and grimy that it makes for some uncomfortable reading. The prose is so simple but elegant, with a great noirish type style. Some of Knoxs words hit heavy on the emotional scale. Dont go in expecting to read a novel about happy fun characters. Even the main character isnt someone who you really think fondly of. Aidan is down out of luck, a drinking and drug issue, and is called into ...more
Left Coast Justin
My first thought was: Noir doesn't get any blacker than this.
My second thought was: It must be an awful fate to be born in the British Midlands
My third thought was: I hope my immunizations are up to date -- I feel like I could catch tuberculosis or hepatitis just reading this.

This was not the best book about criminals I've ever read, but it was written with enormous skill. There were a large number of moving parts, and just enough information was supplied to keep the reader from getting lost. Th
Rob Twinem
Fast and furious but lacking soul.... 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 P ...more
Jan 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very dark, very edgy tale of drug trafficking and the abuse of young women in one of England's largest cities is the subject of "Sirens". The story is told by Aidan Waits, a young police detective who is forced into going undercover in order to bring down one of Manchester's major drug dealers. Along the way he is also given the job of finding a British MP's runaway daughter. Waits' life is a shambles - he is a drug user with speed as his drug of choice and the story careers along through the ...more
Kaycee Bowick (Off_The_Press)
Feb 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley-arcs

**This book has already been released in the UK in 2017. The US publication date of Sirens is 02/20/18. The second installment in the Aiden Waits series, The Smiling Man will be released in the US on March 8th, 2018. 

Sirens is a very unique crime thriller. The main character, Aiden Waits is not your typical cut-and-dry homicide detective that we so often see in these types of novels. Aiden is a detective with a bad track record and let's be honest.. he's a total mess.

"'Tell him it's
Aaron Nash
Jan 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This year ive decided that for a novel to be rewarded 5 stars from me it has to be something really special.

This book is superb.

Disgraced detectives are no new thing when it comes to literature. That being said, Aidan Waits is refeshingly different. After being caught stealing evidence, Waits is offered a deal, to serve time for his crimes or to go undercover. He is advised to serve the time. Once undercover Waits is thrown into the dark underbelly of manchesters drug scene, ruled by a man named
Nov 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sirens is the debut novel by author Joseph Knox and is so good I have already committed to reading the next two books in the series. The book is so well written I found it hard to believe it was the authors first novel. This really is a book that gets better the more you read.
The story is set in Manchester and disgraced detective Aiden Watts is asked to find missing seventeen year old Isabelle Rossiter the daughter of MP David Rossiter. Drug addict Watts was caught stealing evidence and is offer
Sirens is the much hyped dark urban debut by Joseph Knox. There are quite a few exciting authors coming out of the north, like Marnie Riches and A. A. Dhand. It is good to seek out more. Joseph Knox gives us a raw taste of the violence and brutality of the hidden drugs side of the Mancunian metropolis.

The story focuses on a police officer gone bad. An anti hero. A man who walks on the dark side. It is Aiden Waits, a drug addict undercover cop and general waster working to track down a missing MP
Crime by the Book
Dec 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5/5 stars for this sharp debut thriller! Read my full review here:

This book was outside of my comfort zone in many ways, but I was thoroughly impressed with it - and so glad to have given it a try. SIRENS is taut, gritty urban noir, drawing the reader into a world of revenge, loyalty, and betrayal. Knox's writing is assured and seamless - I found myself slipping easily into the world he has created here. Even if you're not a reader who typically enjoys
Apr 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book knocked my socks off!
It's dark and bleak and gritty and downright nasty in places...but soooooo good.
It was like being pulled down into another dimension...rather like hell I imagine.

This is a detective story but not of the police procedural variety, more of the f**k everybody variety.

Aiden Waits is an interesting character - sometimes I liked him and sometimes I hated him but I was ALWAYS interested in what he would say and do.

There are some detective tropes here but mostly this book
Nov 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Broken and tormented, disgraced cop Aidan Waits makes for a very compelling lead in this debut crime noir. More schmoozer than bruiser, he's raw and audacious to a fault, ready to risk it all to do what he thinks right, consequences be damned, especially if an innocent lady is involved.

Things get messy as Waits goes undercover in Manchester's dark, seedy underworld, caught up with a drug ring and a troubled underage runaway. The story draws you down into the mess and stink of the gutter, as a co
Nicole Chinnici
Although Sirens is in my wheelhouse as a crime/mystery thriller, this book is not quite like anything I’ve read before. Between a focus on the drug trade and a gritty atmosphere placing it squarely in urban noir (two things I find I don’t read a lot of), this book was just outside my typical comfort zone.

It’s a sign of truly great writing when an author can suck you in to a story despite it being outside your comfort zone, and that’s exactly what Knox did here. It took me a few chapters to find
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Aidan Waits Thriller (3 books)
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