Sirens by Joseph Knox


Joseph Knox

Gritty, nail-bitingly tense, and addictively page-turning, Sirens is the most well-crafted crime thriller to come along in years. 

Access the hottest new Penguin Random House books months before they hit the shelves.

Sign In or Join Today


Sign me up to receive news about Joseph Knox.

Place our blog button on your blog to let people know you are a member of this great program!

"Razor-sharp urban noir...very special indeed." — Lee Child

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 Aidan Waits is the perfect man for the job. Disgraced, emotionally damaged, and despised by his superiors. In other words, completely expendable. 
But Aidan is a born survivor. And as he works his way deep into Zain’s shadowy world, he finds that nothing is as it seems. Zain is a mesmerizing, Gatsby-esque figure who lures young women into his orbit—women who have a bad habit of turning up dead. But is Zain really responsible? And will Isabelle be next?
Before long, Aidan finds himself in over his head, cut loose by his superiors, and dangerously attracted to the wrong woman.
How can he save the girl if he can’t even save himself?

Advance Galley Reviews

Sirens by Joseph Knox is just the ticket if you were a fan of the TV show The Wire. It's rough, dirty & gritty and full of drugs, violence, gangs, corrupt politicians and cops, war for territory and all the horrific crimes that go with. The vast span of law and morality is at hand for viewing; the question of who is on the right side of the law the main question as you try to keep all the players straight. You are dropped right into the action and need to hit the ground running from page one. Aidan Waits is the main character and POV and to say he's unreliable? Well, you'll see. This story moves fast and just when you think 'ah ha!' you are taken down another alley. Not your usual police procedural- refreshing change of viewpoint than the standard lone detective we see so often. Great debut!

Set in modern day England, Aidan Waits plays an undercover policeman in which it is difficult to differentiate who's good versus bad in this gritty tale. At first it is unclear if all of the events of murder, crooked cops, drugs, and sex are related. Although I didn't find any of the characters likable, one was compelled to see things through to the finish. Thanks to First to Read- Penguin Books USA for the free copy of this book.

A real good, rather 'dark/seedy' police procedural/thriller? A flawed hero? But a good story for sure! Most of the action revolves around the dark, dirty streets...areas inhabited by inhabited by the drug world around/near London, & a lot happens in the dark night, of/in bars & parties. There are several twists involved, & I liked that I hadn't seen them coming! I just read that there is a 2nd book coming out in this vein, so maybe a series in the making? I'll definitely be looking for that 2nd book by J. Knox! The story has quite a few characters to keep track of, so you need to pay attention, but the book is put together in rather shorter, easier chapters to help with that. I thought it a real good read for a debut! I received this e-ARC from Peguin's First-To-Read Giveaway program, in exchange for my own fair & honest review. All opinions are my own.

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 is tasked with finding out who in the department is working with the Franchise, one of two local illegal drug operations. The Franchise is run by the charismatic Zain Carver who employs young women (Sirens) as his money collectors. His other task is given to him by a politician whose runaway 17 year old daughter has become involved with the Franchise. Waits is a complex character who never seems cut out for police work. There is no explanation of what drew him to this profession. Frankly, I could see him having Carver's job. He was very at home in the criminal world. This book has drug use, sadistic murders, rival drug dealers with double dealing associates, crooked cops, shady politicians, tainted drugs and beautiful women who exist in this book only to be victims (the author loses points with me for that particular trope). The writing was tight with dialogue reminiscent of film noir movies, loose ends were taken care of and the author didn't dish out any fake happy endings. I'd be willing to read more by him. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

This isn't the type of book that I typically enjoy, but this was twisty and gritty and really pulled me in. I couldn't NOT finish it, I had to know, had to figure it all out. I found it to be a book worthy of my time and enjoyed it.

Fir this being his first book it was great. I even got mad because my kindle ran out of battery and I had to wait to finish reading. The story is about Aidan who is a detective that goes deep undercover to find a killer and put drug dealers in jail. The bad thing is he gets into too deep and makes friends with a couple of them. Great first book can't wait for his next one.

This is a very deep and dark page turner, that I couldn’t put down. The characters were interesting, I loved their flaws, and I loved the way Aiden was written. The plot hinges on the corruption of the police as well as on the horrors of sexual abuse and contaminated narcotics. Set in urban England, I found descriptions of the locale intriguing. However, the story is fast moving, and certainly held my interest; for that reason I can say I liked it for Knox’s first book!

Having a love for noir and hard-boiled detective fiction, I didn't find anything particularly new or unexpected about this book. I didn't care what happened to anyone in the book and definitely won't be reading any future Aidan Waits books.

A compelling read. Interesting and intense in many ways. The main character, in many ways, isn't particularly likeable or relatable, but he has his redeeming qualities. Sometimes I felt there were a few too many red herrings thrown in, and there weren't enough clues to figure things out before the main character did, but all in all, I enjoyed.

Knox has written a dark and violent page-turner that looks at the darker side of its characters -and humanity in general- to deliver an almost physical gut punch of twists and turns. The plot is a maze and the narrator is unreliable, but it's a run-away train of revelations and hidden agendas. There was a point about a third in that I just had to finish it and find out what's what and who's who. I did not put it down until the last plot point was resolved, and boy were they resolved. It might just be that I don't read this genre that often, but I kept getting surprised with where Knox was taking me. That's what makes thrillers like this worth reading. I do have just one thing to carp about, and that's the ridiculously short paragraphs. Breaks that would have worked perfectly as just paragraph breaks or with an extra space differentiate were turned into chapters that were just 2 paragraphs long. It's a pet peeve of mine, but it takes me out of the moment to change chapters and I hate it when the next chapter is just a continuation of a previous scene. Even with it including one of my biggest pet peeves, this is definitely a thriller that I highly recommend.

The mission is suicide. The story is twisted. The main character Aiden is troubled yet he still has a moral compass. He may be an unreliable narrator due to the fact of his drug habit. I wanted him to save the day. The first chapter had me hooked because Waits had a foggy memory. From there I had to finish even though parts along the way broke my heart. Sirens is razor-sharp and special. I wished something worst would have happened to Zain. I would have liked to know more about his childhood. I will read the next book if there is another installment

I was fortunate to receive early access to an advanced copy of Sirens through the First to Read program, and it was a gritty, hard boiled ride. Aidan Waits is a disgraced cop who gets tangled up in a seedy murder mystery, filled with drug dealers and other degenerates. The investigation takes several twists and turns as readers are lead to the final conclusion. The story is definitely dark and seemingly captures the desperation of its characters.

I had a hard time with this book. I kept feeling as though I had walked into a movie and missed the first 20 minutes. I never could figure out whether the narrator was unreliable, undercover, on drugs or all of the afore mentioned. The same for many of the other key characters. With no one and nothing to believe, I couldn’t get my bearings and the story just didn’t hold my attention continuously.

I read this book obsessively and couldn't wait to see how it all ended. I'm amazed that this is Joseph Knox's first book, bc it's expertly plotted with a large cast of really interesting characters. Everyone is flawed with conflicting agendas, and the true bad actors can be hard to ferret out. This was the best noir thrilled that I've read in ages. Aiden Waits is a great character, a classic flawed antihero with a strong if tarnished moral compass. I hope that this will be the beginning of a series. I would definitely read about Aiden Waits' future adventures and misadventures. Thanks to Penguin and First to Read for a chance to read this book in exchange for an unbiased review.

I devoured this work in one sitting! The mysteries within Knox’s pages unfold as clearly as scenes in a cinematic presentation. His attention to sensory details immerses the reader through every twist and turn. The audience is transported to the dark avenues of the underworld, corruption in law enforcement, and the conflicts transpiring in the protagonist’s, Aidan Waitts’, own psyche. What makes the criminal world so enticing to so many? Can people dabble in the illegal realms without becoming fully immersed? Knox offers an insider’s look into the darker regions including the rewards and consequences of not playing by the book.

Sirens was a fast-paced, exciting thriller with a hefty dose of crime thrown in. Knox gives Aidan an interesting and believable voice. The characters are interesting and three dimensional.


Copy the following link