Author: Joseph Knoox
Source: Free ARC from Crown
Note: As stated under the Source (above), I received this book for free from Crown via NetGalley. I pride myself on writing fair and honest reviews.
“A riveting thriller about a damaged undercover detective navigating a web of politicians, drug lords, missing persons, and his own flawed department, perfect for readers of Tana French, Don Winslow and Dennis Lehane.
Infiltrating the inner circle of enigmatic criminal Zain Carver is dangerous enough. Pulling it off while also rescuing Isabelle Rossiter, a runaway politician’s daughter, from Zain’s influence? Impossible. That’s why Aidan Waits is the perfect man for the job. Disgraced, emotionally damaged, and despised by his superiors. In other words, completely expendable.
But Aidan is a born survivor. And as he works his way deep into Zain’s shadowy world, he finds that nothing is as it seems. Zain is a mesmerizing, Gatsby-esque figure who lures young women into his orbit–women who have a bad habit of turning up dead. But is Zain really responsible? And will Isabelle be next?
Before long, Aidan finds himself in over his head, cut loose by his superiors, and dangerously attracted to the wrong woman. How can he save the girl if he can’t even save himself?”
Disclaimer: I’m long overdue in reviewing this book as I finished it at the end of January and somehow let it fall through the cracks. That said…I remember more about the feeling this book gave me than the story itself. The entire book felt like a collection of cloudy days, that feeling you get when it seems like the sun will never come out again, and it begins to drag you down. It’s weighted with a palpable darkness, a foreboding, almost a hopelessness. Though it isn’t noir, the atmosphere, the mood of the book, is quite similar.
As for the story itself, though I remember little beyond a few scenes, the overwhelming mood of the book, and the flawed humanity of the main character (really, all of the characters!), a three is a perfectly respectable rating, and one that I stand by 5 months later. Also, I fully intend to read the next book in the series, The Smiling Man. That seems a hardy enough recommendation to me.