Avid reader/reviewer and editor. I don't pull punches when I review, love it or hate it, you get what I think.
This debut novel by Joseph Knox had the potential to be a gritty and gripping crime thriller complete with an anti-hero and criminal underground, which is what drew me to in the beginning. The story is dark and full of police corruption, drugs, and danger. All of this combined should have made for a hard to put down tale that kept the pages turning. Sadly, that was not the case for this reader. The story does have a noir feel and there are numerous colorful characters introduced, which could have garnered interest if not for the drawn out pacing. The chapters are very short – as in one or two pages each – and many of them end quite abruptly, which felt more distracting than anything else. Some chapters were devoted solely to setting a scene with the next chapter getting on with whatever was happening in the story. While these short chapters do give the impression of making progress, there are over one hundred of them, and for me, the end of a chapter was just one more excuse to set this one aside for later. The author does have talent for setting a scene, so much so that Aiden Waits could very well work wonderfully on film, but the book just didn’t work for me. I prefer my thrillers to have that edge of your seat, what’s gonna happen next element and that was missing here. So, try as I might, I was never able to become engaged with any of the characters or the story as a whole. Technically, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the writing, the words are all there, but for whatever reason, those words didn’t make me feel. Whatever that something is that makes a reader care about the characters and their lives is missing here and without that, it’s just a whole lot of words on paper.