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He Waits - A Book of Strange and Disturbing Horror

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From the author of the international best-seller The Stone Man, shortlisted for Audible UK's Book of the Year Award 2015 Praise for HE WAITS: "In the horror genre, familiarity absolutely does breed contempt, and Smitherd obviously knows this. Why else would he be so talented at expertly crafting stories that defy expectations? For me there is no greater joy than seeing an From the author of the international best-seller The Stone Man, shortlisted for Audible UK's Book of the Year Award 2015 Praise for HE WAITS: "In the horror genre, familiarity absolutely does breed contempt, and Smitherd obviously knows this. Why else would he be so talented at expertly crafting stories that defy expectations? For me there is no greater joy than seeing an artist excel at his craft." - Aintitcoolnews.com Quite literally, no escape. Because he's always with you. And in the real world -the world of you, the reader - HE WAITS will stay in your mind in a way that you won't expect ... PLUS THE SECOND STORY, 'KEEP YOUR CHILDREN CLOSE' A campsite. A family holiday. A broken down car. And an approaching breakdown truck that is just the start of Shelley's nightmare. By the time the sun sets, someone in that field will be dead, and Shelley must somehow make sure it isn't one of her children ... KEEP YOUR CHILDREN CLOSE is a story that you will find impossible to predict. PRAISE FOR LUKE SMITHERD'S WRITING: "... a novel that intrigues, enthralls, horrifies, thrills, and hits the reader with an emotional resonance as only the best stories can." - Ain't It Cool News.com "... strong characterization, moral quandaries, mystery, and a whole lot of tense moments. Reading the final sentence was truly a bittersweet moment." - SFsignal.com, Hugo award-winning website Want to download the first few pages of this book for FREE so that you can try before you buy? Click the 'Send sample now' button on the upper right hand side of this page to do just that! AMAZON REVIEWS OF LUKE SMITHERD'S WORK: "I couldn't help myself and read this is one sitting." - simon211175, Amazon Vine Voice "It was one of those books where you tell yourself you will read just one more page, then look at the clock and realise that it's 2 hours later. I would thoroughly recommend it." - Elaine Hosegood "I have owned a Kindle for about 2 years and downloaded some excellent books for very little cost but Luke Smitherd's works beat the lot." - Silversmith, Amazon UK Review "As soon as I started reading I was completely sucked in, which very rarely happens for me. I couldn't wait to get home and read it each night. I laughed. I cried. I did actual real life gasps of horror." - Katie, Amazon Review


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From the author of the international best-seller The Stone Man, shortlisted for Audible UK's Book of the Year Award 2015 Praise for HE WAITS: "In the horror genre, familiarity absolutely does breed contempt, and Smitherd obviously knows this. Why else would he be so talented at expertly crafting stories that defy expectations? For me there is no greater joy than seeing an From the author of the international best-seller The Stone Man, shortlisted for Audible UK's Book of the Year Award 2015 Praise for HE WAITS: "In the horror genre, familiarity absolutely does breed contempt, and Smitherd obviously knows this. Why else would he be so talented at expertly crafting stories that defy expectations? For me there is no greater joy than seeing an artist excel at his craft." - Aintitcoolnews.com Quite literally, no escape. Because he's always with you. And in the real world -the world of you, the reader - HE WAITS will stay in your mind in a way that you won't expect ... PLUS THE SECOND STORY, 'KEEP YOUR CHILDREN CLOSE' A campsite. A family holiday. A broken down car. And an approaching breakdown truck that is just the start of Shelley's nightmare. By the time the sun sets, someone in that field will be dead, and Shelley must somehow make sure it isn't one of her children ... KEEP YOUR CHILDREN CLOSE is a story that you will find impossible to predict. PRAISE FOR LUKE SMITHERD'S WRITING: "... a novel that intrigues, enthralls, horrifies, thrills, and hits the reader with an emotional resonance as only the best stories can." - Ain't It Cool News.com "... strong characterization, moral quandaries, mystery, and a whole lot of tense moments. Reading the final sentence was truly a bittersweet moment." - SFsignal.com, Hugo award-winning website Want to download the first few pages of this book for FREE so that you can try before you buy? Click the 'Send sample now' button on the upper right hand side of this page to do just that! AMAZON REVIEWS OF LUKE SMITHERD'S WORK: "I couldn't help myself and read this is one sitting." - simon211175, Amazon Vine Voice "It was one of those books where you tell yourself you will read just one more page, then look at the clock and realise that it's 2 hours later. I would thoroughly recommend it." - Elaine Hosegood "I have owned a Kindle for about 2 years and downloaded some excellent books for very little cost but Luke Smitherd's works beat the lot." - Silversmith, Amazon UK Review "As soon as I started reading I was completely sucked in, which very rarely happens for me. I couldn't wait to get home and read it each night. I laughed. I cried. I did actual real life gasps of horror." - Katie, Amazon Review

30 review for He Waits - A Book of Strange and Disturbing Horror

  1. 4 out of 5

    Luvtoread

    Very creepy! A Must Read! So many twists and turns that are unexpected! Love the story telling! Will read more or his books! Highly recommend! Complete stories in short story form . Really appreciated "Keep your children close".

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ripley

    He waits is a story of nightmares, fear, and death. How nightmares. And fears grow and build on themselves until they take over your subconcious. This story explores what would happen if your greatest nightmare gripped you upon death and you never again had a chance to wake up, and the results will chill you to the bone. The second story is "Keep Your Children Close." This is the tale of a family struggling to stay together after an accident puts them close to financial ruin. Shelley hesitantly He waits is a story of nightmares, fear, and death. How nightmares. And fears grow and build on themselves until they take over your subconcious. This story explores what would happen if your greatest nightmare gripped you upon death and you never again had a chance to wake up, and the results will chill you to the bone. The second story is "Keep Your Children Close." This is the tale of a family struggling to stay together after an accident puts them close to financial ruin. Shelley hesitantly accompanies her husband, Lenny, and their 2 sons, on a camping trip to a remote location. On their last day of the trip their car won't start. So Lenny sets off to the nearest town to find either a mechanic or a phone to call for help. Along the way he sees a tow truck and when it stops, the men driving it seem suspicious. Even so, Lenny, desperate for help, leads them back to their campsite where some intense things happen... These are both very well written tales but "He Waits" is my favorite. It is very creepy and the ending left me cringing. The second one was over the top suspenseful, with a twist ending I wasn't expecting. My heart was pounding almost the whole way through. I easily give this 5 out of 5 stars. I loved it and will recommend it to everyone I know.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Terry

    He Waits, creepy, scary! I'm really really hoping this is not what's waiting...... Keep your children close, wow I really enjoyed this, what's out there & hidden from us? Great book as always, worth buying worth reading, both will give you chills He Waits, creepy, scary! I'm really really hoping this is not what's waiting...... Keep your children close, wow I really enjoyed this, what's out there & hidden from us? Great book as always, worth buying worth reading, both will give you chills

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kori ☾

    I really didn’t care much for the first short short story. I got Nightmare on Elmstreet vibes but with a slower pace. The main character couldn’t catch a break. The ending was depressing. Overall: ⭐️⭐️ The second short story I liked better, the build up was slow but it worked with the camping scene, and the twist at the end was surprising. I found myself shocked while reading. I would like to read about the lore surrounding this story. Overall: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  5. 4 out of 5

    Joanne

    I'm sitting here at 2:30 in the morning and my hands are literally shaking. And I feel kind of sick. The afterword by the author didn't help when he talked about, "planting a seed", in this case, a seed of fear. There are two short stories included in this book: "He Waits" and "Keep Your Children Close" "He Waits" is about fear, both fear as a concept and fear as a character in all our lives. There really isn't a way to describe the story without giving the whole thing away. Suffice it to say, the I'm sitting here at 2:30 in the morning and my hands are literally shaking. And I feel kind of sick. The afterword by the author didn't help when he talked about, "planting a seed", in this case, a seed of fear. There are two short stories included in this book: "He Waits" and "Keep Your Children Close" "He Waits" is about fear, both fear as a concept and fear as a character in all our lives. There really isn't a way to describe the story without giving the whole thing away. Suffice it to say, the story is about a boy/teenager/man named Ben. He remembers being scared for the first time when he was six years old while watching "Ghostbusters". Throughout his life, he is afraid. Things happen, but then, as we are all wont to do, we gradually forget them, but it turns out they always remain a part of us. So do the good things in life, but fear overpowers them all. Ben has a terrible nightmare when he was sixteen. I think most of us have had similar nightmares--I know I have--where we know--we KNOW--that if we don't wake up we're going to die. It's very weird because you're dreaming, but the thoughts you are having are conscious thoughts. I know I have actually thrown myself out of bed to wake myself up because the fear is all consuming. I just know if I allow myself to fall back to sleep (and the urge to do so is overwhelming) I'll die. Ben survives his dream and goes on with his life until something happens and he finds out the truth behind the dream. And it is definitely not good. It is very, very bad. That's all I can say about that. Ben doesn't do well after that because he forces himself to remember what happened. He thinks he might be able to gain some control if he can do that, but, maybe not. The scariest part of this story is the "time dilution" effect and you have to read it to know what it is. As described, it is the "perception" of time. To me, it is a horror beyond compare. It's like being in that dream forever. I have read all of this author's books. This, by far, is the scariest. And my seed is already growing, unfortunately. "Keep Your Children Close" is another horror story, this time with a lean towards the supernatural. Although the title refers to the children, the fear and horror actually happen first hand to the mother of the children--Shelley. Shelley and her family (two boys and her husband) go on a camping trip. She hopes it will help the family get closer--and they do. They meet another couple during the week and Shelley and the other woman spend a lot of time confiding in each other. When the week is over and they are ready to head home, their car won't start. And that's just the beginning for it turns out there's a good reason the car won't start. At first, they are just annoyed, but when they find a tow truck and two men to help them with the car, Shelley learns the truth about their situation. Unlike Ben in the first story, Shelley is a strong person and is able to deal with her fear and does what she has to do to keep her family safe, but will it ever be enough? Similar to Ben in this case, she has to live with this horror the rest of her life. She never tells her family the truth of what happened. She can sometimes convince herself that something totally different happened, but her subconscious knows the truth and her sleep and dreams are always troubled. The common theme for these two stories is fear. Raw, pure fear. The only thing I would have done differently is put "He Waits" after "Keep Your Children Close" because, for me anyway, "He Waits" scared the crap out of me and "Keep Your Children Close" was just scary as hell. I guess that doesn't sound very different, but, trust me, it is.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Dylan Shrawder

    Quite Surprised First time with a Smitherd story, didn't know what to expect really. By the time I had realized how absorbed I was, it was too late to stop. Luke has a great grasp on quickly building characters while at the same time weaving you a chilling story. Just based of these two shorties, I look forward to experiencing more work by Smitherd.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Adam

    Smitherd is a master at knowing how and when to throw moments of illumination into the obfuscating darkness that clarifies what you know about the story without ever quite giving you the sense of a solid foothold on the material. It's like you're swimming in choppy black waters and he throws you a tantalizing life buoy only for it to turn out to be smaller than you expected and already deflating fast so you keep swimming to the next buoy only to find that it's no better... 'He Waits' marks a turn Smitherd is a master at knowing how and when to throw moments of illumination into the obfuscating darkness that clarifies what you know about the story without ever quite giving you the sense of a solid foothold on the material. It's like you're swimming in choppy black waters and he throws you a tantalizing life buoy only for it to turn out to be smaller than you expected and already deflating fast so you keep swimming to the next buoy only to find that it's no better... 'He Waits' marks a turn towards more outright horror for Smitherd, who previously had worked within a more science-fiction/ weird fiction realm and I really think the genre suits him. Not that he's short on big ideas or intelligence as a writer since he certainly has both, but because there are so few writers who can actually create something scary [scary in the primordial sense of 'wrongness' that you know best as a kid] and I want more of it. Both of the two stories in this collection really got under my skin. Smitherd is not the most amazing of prose stylists - he's economic and vivid and seems to get better and better at seamlessly working expositionary info into his stories - but that's fine because his ideas drive the language rather than the other way around. The first story here has the power of an urban legend or one of those ghost stories told on camping trips by children, but with an adult existential dread of the inevitability of morality which gives it dread. The second stories is much weirder and harder to summarise and I think it was this complete alienness that made it really disturbing to me - like the most memorable parts of Jonathan Glazer adaptation of 'Under the Skin'. Most impressive to me is simply the fact that Luke Smitherd wrote two stories which genuinely scared me. Poe came closest to chilling me with 'The Black Cat', but he's mostly wrongly categorised as a horror writer when he was primarily a fabulist a la Jules Verne - though I love reading him; Lovecraft's maddening purple prose and seemingly endless racism tend to take me out of his stories, though 'Shadow Over Innsmouth' creeped me out for half-an-hour after reading; 'House of Leaves' scared me until I realised it was also just post-modern trickiness and there was never going to be any horrific reveal, all would remain cloaked in obfuscating darkness; Ligotti is too anti-humanist to truly scare me, though he can sometimes make me anxious - most horror films rely too much upon jump scares, discordant music and simply weird unpalatable images. So Smitherd is to be commended for writing horror fiction that is genuinely scary. It is not an easy or common thing. If I had to compare his writing to anything it would be the creepiest episodes of anthology TV shows like 'The Twilight Zone' or 'Black Mirror' or else the peerless manga comics of Junji Ito. My only wish is for him to write slightly less well-adjusted characters, but maybe that's because I always find myself relating best to neurotic outcasts! P.S. Mr. Smitherd, if you happen to read this review and have not chanced upon Ito before - even if you never otherwise enjoy manga or anime I thoroughly recommend your reading him as I think he would speak to your sensibilities. Since my favourite collection of his, 'Voices in the Dark', is not available in English (I own it in Japanese) I have few qualms about linking to a fan translation: http://mangakakalot.com/chapter/yami_... 'The Earthbound'

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jameson Skaife

    3.5 stars. I love Luke Smitherd's writing style and creative stories, but these two short stories were a bit lacking. I really liked the first book and felt it had a lot of potential. There were great characters in a unique and terrifying situation, but it seems to end a bit abruptly and I wanted more. The second story had a long build up that was a bit on the slow side, but then all of a sudden ramped up into an interesting situation. Then again, it ended a bit abruptly. Can't wait to read some 3.5 stars. I love Luke Smitherd's writing style and creative stories, but these two short stories were a bit lacking. I really liked the first book and felt it had a lot of potential. There were great characters in a unique and terrifying situation, but it seems to end a bit abruptly and I wanted more. The second story had a long build up that was a bit on the slow side, but then all of a sudden ramped up into an interesting situation. Then again, it ended a bit abruptly. Can't wait to read some of his longer works next.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    Two really great stories can be found here. I did feel slightly cheated and confused when "He Waits" ended though as it was such an interesting story it didn't make sense why it ended so abruptly. This could have been a much longer story, aside from that though, what is here is very good. As for "Keep Your Children Close". How this story starts you really think you know exactly how it will progress, but it doesn't. There is a major twist in this tale that really works. I loved it!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Tony Gragg

    Loved them both Both stories are well written, with the second, "Keep your children close", the scarier, as it deals with family. Luke doesn't wrap his stories up with a bow either, leaving you to feel, and wonder "what the hell?" when you're finished. Sometimes things happen in real life, and you're left scratching your head. He leaves his endings up to you, which i think is a good thing.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Allan

    Makes you think horror. Good solid read although found the first story a little slow to start. Second story, keep your children close, unusual and not what you expect, almost written as first part of a series leaving many unanswered questions...

  12. 4 out of 5

    Steph Hughes

    Good quick read. Well written, good for those that love ghost stories and weird happenings, brilliant for people like me, who lack the attention span to read huge books!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Aaron

    This was a good horror book set in the UK. I believed it and felt I was there. Not read a horror in a while as I never got into them and found them unreal.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jason Nugent

    Like at it again I enjoyed these suspenseful and dark stories. Luke Smitherd is an excellent writer and worthy of taking all your money for his work! Seriously though, if you enjoy dark suspense and a touch of horror, give it a try. These two stories are a great intro to his work.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sheryl

    Smitherd is still keeping me up nights I'll bet you haven't thought of your childhood nightmares for years. I'll bet you've forgotten the way you lay frozen in terror, freshly woken from...something. Luke Smitherd just lead me back to that damned door I locked decades ago. I know I locked it! I did!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Louise Child

    Easy read A short easy read.Could have done with a little more editing.Not the stuff of my nightmares.Loved the idea of the second tale,but for me,could have been more developed.

  17. 5 out of 5

    jeanie

    Odd tales that keep you guessing about what's going to happen next. The tales are not resolved as tidily as I tend to like.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Yvonne52

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kim

  20. 4 out of 5

    Brian Inman

  21. 4 out of 5

    Nathan Morse

  22. 4 out of 5

    Dennis A. Gilland

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jared Staples

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ariane

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Gregory

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sonia

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jo Davies

  28. 4 out of 5

    Marc

  29. 5 out of 5

    Gareth Price

  30. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

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