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Sirens is the brooding and assured debut from Joseph Knox, the next big name in crime fiction.

The bestselling debut from the winner of the Sky Arts Writer of the Year Award, the next big name in crime fiction - Joseph Knox.

Detective Aidan Waits is in trouble
After a career-ending mistake, he’s forced into a nightmare undercover operation that his superiors don’t expect him to survive.

Isabelle Rossiter has run away again

When the teenage daughter of a prominent MP joins Zain Carver, the enigmatic criminal who Waits is investigating, everything changes.
A single mother, missing for a decade

Carver is a mesmerising figure who lures young women into his orbit – young women who have a bad habit of disappearing. Soon Waits is cut loose by the police, stalked by an unseen killer and dangerously attracted to the wrong woman.
How can he save the girl, when he can’t even save himself?


Knox presents the city as pungently and uncompromisingly as Ian Rankin does Edinburgh


A firecracker of a crime tale. His writing is taut, atmospheric and studded with eye-catching descriptions. An arresting new talent.


Razor-sharp urban noir – very special indeed.

Lee Child

Sirens is a powerhouse of noir. Joseph Knox owns Manchester and paints it in all its grimy colours.

Val McDermid

Thrilling, breathless stuff


The dark, gritty underbelly of Manchester is captured with eviscerating authenticity in this debut . . . This is urban noir at its freshest and most ferocious.

Daily Mail

A noir in that great tradition of the American writers James M Cain and Dashiel Hammet . . . it reminded me a bit of Chandler’s LA, the whole city is corrupt, the authority figures are as bad as the criminals.

Jake Kerridge on Open Book, Radio 4

Jumps straight into the top league of English noir.

The Times

Manchester throbs with lowlife in this startling debut . . . a page-turner with a beating heart. I loved it.

Sarah Hilary

This is an excellent read; it feels both classic and completely new and is remarkably assured for a first outing.


Gripping, powerfully compelling debut

Daily Express

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.

Crimescene Magazine

A fierce, assured and utterly compelling debut . . . A Ross MacDonald for the 21st century.

Stav Sherez

Great read. A powerful piece of Manchester noir, brutal, poignant and dark as tar.

Cath Staincliffe

Fresh and darkly stylish, Sirens is a striking debut that marks the arrival of a major new crime writing talent.

Chris Ewan

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.

Nick Quantrill

A down and dirty slice of Manchester noir . . . Impressively bleak.

Shots Magazine

Page-turner is the only word for it.

Press Association

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    February 12, 2018

    Black Swan

    RRP $26.00

    Online retailers

    • Fishpond
    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • The Nile

    Find your local bookstore at www.booksellers.co.nz/directory

  • Hardback


    February 15, 2017


    400 pages

    RRP $40.00

    Online retailers

    • Fishpond
    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • The Nile

    Find your local bookstore at www.booksellers.co.nz/directory

  • Trade Paperback


    January 30, 2017


    384 pages

    RRP $37.00

    Online retailers

    • Fishpond
    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • The Nile

    Find your local bookstore at www.booksellers.co.nz/directory

  • EBook


    January 12, 2017

    Transworld Digital

    Online retailers

    • iBooks NZ
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Google Play
    • Kobo
    • Booktopia NZ

    Find your local bookstore at www.booksellers.co.nz/directory


Afterwards I went back on to the night shift. They’d never trust me in the daylight again. I spent my time responding to 4 a.m. emergency calls, walking up and down dead escalators and trying not to think. I’d been good at that once. I could hardly believe it, a few months later, when I saw my breath in the air again. Saw November coming back around.

‘Shittin’ it down,’ said Sutty, refusing to get out of the car. Sometimes it was hailstones and sometimes it was slush. Tonight it was sheet rain, catching the light and cleaning down the streets. They needed it. My partner handed me his newspaper and I got out of the car, holding it over my head as an umbrella.

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Also by Joseph Knox

The Smiling Man


Fool Me Once
No Middle Name
The Thirst
The Girl on the Train
Cold Blood
Fifty Fifty
Two Nights
A Stranger in the House
The Child
Final Girls
The Lying Game
The Word Is Murder
I Am Pilgrim
Orphan X
Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore
The Girl in Kellers Way
The Perfect Couple