By Joseph Knox
There are relatively few books that use the city of Manchester as a setting and even fewer that focus on its seedy underbelly. But Joseph Knox does exactly that and does it with aplomb in the third of his series featuring maverick detective Aidan Watts. I have not read the first in the series but I did read the second, The Smiling Man, which reminded me of the gritty writing style of Raymond Chandler. The Sleepwalker is just as atmospheric, and just as much a page-turner as Watts with his attractive sidekick Naomi Black tries to unravel the killing of a convicted child killer who is dying in hospital and who is being persuaded to reveal the location of his final victim.
The hard-boiled Watts has ‘history’ which includes drugs and money and the reader is treated to the more unsavoury aspects of Manchester’s criminal life with hard language, hard men and even harder women, some of whom have accounts to settle.
The past catches up with Watts and he is under investigation, not only by his bosses but also by his new partner, Detective Constable Naomi Black. He realises too late that a remorseless contract killer is at work. Can he solve his last case before fleeing justice? Or will his name be next on the hit list?
Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd