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Sunday, January 20, 2019

REVIEW: The Smiling Man by Joseph Knox @josephknox__ @doubledaybooks

The Smiling Man 
by Joseph Knox

Publisher: Doubleday
Publish Date: March 8, 2018
416 Pages
Series: Aidan Waites Thriller #2
Genres: Thriller, Crime Fiction

From the bestselling author of Sirens, Detective Aidan Waits is on the hunt to find the identity of The Smiling Man.

Disconnected from his history and careless of his future, Detective Aidan Waits has resigned himself to the night shift. An endless cycle of meaningless emergency calls and lonely dead ends. Until he and his partner, Detective Inspector Peter ‘Sutty’ Sutcliffe, are summoned to The Palace, a vast disused hotel in the centre of a restless, simmering city.

There they find the body of a man. He is dead.

And he is smiling.

The tags have been removed from the man’s clothes. His teeth filed down and replaced. Even his fingertips are not his own. Only a patch sewn into the inside of his trousers gives any indication as to who he was, and to the desperate last act of his life…

But even as Waits puts together the pieces of this stranger’s life, someone is sifting through the shards of his own.

When the mysterious fires, anonymous phone calls and outright threats escalate, he realises that a ghost from his own past haunts his every move.

And to discover the smiling man’s identity, he must finally confront his own.

My Review:

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 interchange:

"Aidan Waites."
"Yes he does. Someone will be with you in a minute, Mr. Waites."


Waites is one of the most flawed and damaged characters I've read in the crime fiction world.  Yet, despite and because of these characteristics, he's lovable while trying to be so damned unlovable.  I didn't find this to be quite as dark as Sirens... but it does go dark and deep into Aidan.  Despite everything, he's always bound and determined to solve the murder at hand and will go to any extreme to do so.  He's certainly not quite popular within his field of work on a personal basis but you can't help but respect his results.

Do you need to read Sirens to read this one?  I don't think you HAVE to but I'm a person who feels reading series books in order is important. And Sirens was brilliant so why wouldn't you read it anyways? 😉

Come and pick up what Knox is laying down... especially if you love dark crime fiction.


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