Joseph Knox has once again written an excellent thriller in which he brings back the darkest stain on Manchester’s police force, Detective Aidan Waits. This is a book that is a must for every crime thriller reader. It is a gritty read and the smell of corruption is never far away.

Aidan Waits and his partner Sutty are having to maintain the night shift at St Mary’s Hospital, where a particular nasty murderer is in their protective custody. People want Martin Wicks dead for confessing to killing a family, even though he is dying, but that will not stop people. Superintendent Parrs for once actually knows where Waits and his partner are, and what they are doing.

Someone actually manages to kill the armed guard and set fire to Wicks and Sutty is put out of action. Superintendent Parrs now has his scapegoat in play and Waits knows it will be him. Parrs challenges him to run a parallel investigation, but he will have to have Naomi Black watching over him. Parrs also knows that some one has put a price on Waits’ head and knows that if they do not kick him out, he will get killed anyway.

As the investigation begins to make waves, little does he know how close to death that he is, for him and his estranged sister. He knows that he is being threatened by a manipulative psychopath, he needs to put his trust in Naomi Black, but he just cannot do that. Before he realises the full extent of what is going on, it could be too late, for his sister as well as for himself.

Will Waits and Black be able to solve the murder, even though there are plenty of people trying to stop them (and that is just in the police)?

Joseph Knox has managed to write a gritty and sometimes a lot closer to the truth thriller that mainly takes place within the city centre of Manchester. But he is also quite kind to the reader when using St Mary’s Hospital, there was one which was maternity, but the A&E at Manchester Royal Infirmary on a weekend night is far worse!

This is a dark and seedy crime thriller and at times it sails very close to the wind, proving just how much of a talent Joseph Knox is.

Paul Diggett 5/5

The Sleepwalker by Joseph Knox
Doubleday 9780857524386 hbk Jul 2019