editor's choice

Joseph Knox, what’s not to love?


I love it when I’m introduced to writers I’ve never read before, especially when I know they’re going to be new friends. That’s the case with Joseph Knox.

The Sleepwalker, which is published this month by Doubleday, is the third outing for Detective Aidan Waits and yet it’s my introduction to him. I really don’t know why. Why haven’t I read Knox before? He’s my kind of writer.

From the very first pages, when a young woman is lured to her death, the plot commands our attention. It’s not just the ease with which Knox writes, his language pared back, sharp, clever, or the way in which he evokes the dark, gritty backdrop of Manchester, beautifully realised in all its light and shadow or the melancholia that pervades the book, but rather his characterisation, which is tight, Waits the perfect anti-hero, tortured, lost, the rest of the cast strewn with flawed people, drawn with careful economy. ‘Sutty lost his temper like another man lost his keys. Carelessly and completely without thought, and sometimes it seemed like he’d never get it back …’ Gorgeous.

Reading this book was a huge pleasure mainly because I haven’t had such a visceral reaction to a modern crime-fiction anti-hero since I first picked up Ian Rankin’s Knots & Crosses and found John Rebus.

When you read truly good fiction, especially crime, it’s phenomenal and this is phenomenal. There’s really not much more that I can add.





Joseph Knox | The Sleepwalker | Doubleday |11 July 2019 | hardback | £14.99 |

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Acknowledgements: Book text quotes © Joseph Knox 2019. Many thanks to Anne Cater, as always, and to the publisher for sending a book proof and jacket image. All opinions are our own. All rights reserved.




Also of interest:Yvonne Battle-Fenton’s Rememembered‘; ‘Elder’s last Stand, John Harvey’s Black and Blue‘; ‘Making connections, JD Robb Eve Dallas‘; ‘Stephanie Butland, bringing women into focus‘; ‘We should all be feminists‘; The not-so-invisible woman: 150 greats in their own words’;Changing the narrative: The Red Word; ‘Candy Denman’s #YouToo;By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept’; ‘Permission by Saskia Vogel‘; ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised‘; ‘Helga Flatland’s study of A Modern Family’;  ‘Blood Orange’; ‘Lisa Ko’s The Leavers, Dialogue’s brilliant debut; ‘RW Kwon’s The Incendiaries’; ‘Beauty in translation – Roxanne Bouchard’s French Canadian noir‘; ‘How Penguin learned to fly – Allen Lane and the Original “Penguin Ten”‘; Dorothy L. Sayer’s Busman’s Holiday – Romek Marber for Penguin Crime (book covers we love); ‘Vanda Symon; ‘Some like it hot – the joy of Carole Mortimer, award-winning novelist‘; Gina Kirkham’

This review is © 2019 by The Literary Shed. All rights reserved. All opinions are our own. We welcome your feedback and comments. If you wish to reproduce this piece, please do contact us to request permission. Thank you so much.

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