How do you solve the murder of a man who doesn't exist? Detective Aidan Waits returns in a brilliantly gritty crime novel.
‘Gritty as hell. I loved it. A great urban cop thriller’ Ian Rankin
As heard on BBC Radio 5 Live Phil Williams Show
From the bestselling author of Sirens, Detective Aidan Waits is on the hunt to find the identity of The Smiling Man.
A body has been found on the fourth floor of Manchester’s vast and empty Palace Hotel. The man is dead. And he is smiling.
The tags have been removed from his clothes. His teeth have been replaced. Even his fingertips are not his own. Only a patch sewn into his trousers offers any information about him.
Detective Aidan Waits and his unwilling partner, DI Sutcliffe, must piece together the scant clues to identify the stranger. But as they do, Aidan realises that a ghost from his past haunts the investigation. He soon recognises that to discover who the smiling man really is, he must first confront the scattered debris of his own life . . .
'Talents such as Knox rarely emerge more than once in a generation. A crime fiction masterpiece' ***** Metro
'Packing a punch from the very first page. You will love The Smiling Man' Jane Harper, author of The Dry
“If you liked Sirens, you will love The Smiling Man. Gritty, noir, and packing a punch from the very first page.”
Jane Harper, author of The Dry
“Gritty as hell. I loved it! A great urban cop thriller”
“Sirens was one of the best books published last year and this intense, blackly comic follow-up is just as good. Joseph Knox has conjured up a sense of evil and corruption you can almost smell it.”
Jake Kerridge, Sunday Express
“Razor-sharp urban noir – very special indeed.”
“Sirens is a powerhouse of noir. Joseph Knox owns Manchester and paints it in all its grimy colours.”
“Imperfect as Aidan Waits is, the Manchester DC is the shining light in a world peopled by the worst kinds of bad people. This is Knox's second Waits book in what holds the promise of a classic series.”
Sunday Times Crime Club
“Talents such as Knox rarely emerge more than once in a generation. A crime fiction masterpiece”
“If you like your crime fiction dark, gritty an contemporary, then Joseph Knox’s latest novel is for you . . . dripping with dark humour, written with style, a dark and engrossing ride through the mean streets of Manchester”
Clair Woodward, Daily Express
“Promises to be a classic series”
“Although nominally a police procedural, The Smiling Man has the sense of place and vivid atmosphere of a classic PI novel. .. Stylish, intelligent and full of heart, Joseph Knox is the best thing to have happened to English crime fiction in years.”
“You can trace Aidan Waits's lineage direct from Marlowe through Bosch and Rebus — maverick sleuth with a savagely poetic turn of phrase that packs serious observation of the human condition under the laughs — though Waits has the self-sabotage knob turned up to 11. Imperfect as he is, the Manchester DC is the shining light in a world peopled by the worst kinds of bad people. This is Knox's second Waits book in what holds the promise of a classic series.”
Sunday Times Crime Club
“Manchester throbs with lowlife in this startling debut . . . a page-turner with a beating heart. I loved it.”
“Waits’ first fictional outing is a shadowy, disturbing narrative and once you start reading it’s hard to resist the call. Sirens is the best British crime debut of the last five years.”
“A fierce, assured and utterly compelling debut . . . A Ross MacDonald for the 21st century.”
“Great read. A powerful piece of Manchester noir, brutal, poignant and dark as tar.”
“Fresh and darkly stylish, Sirens is a striking debut that marks the arrival of a major new crime writing talent.”
“Sirens immediately feels like a classic, not a debut . . . a book for every crime fan.”
Julia Heaberlin, author of Black Eyed Susans
“An amazing thriller. Sexy, stylish suspense.”
A. A. Dhand
“A dark, dangerous noir, Sirens will be one of 2017’s smash hit debuts.”