Book Review #33: The Smiling Man by Joseph Knox

the smiling man


Title: The Smiling Man (An Aidan Waits Thriller book 2)

Author: Joseph Knox

Genre: Crime, Suspense, Thriller

Format: Ebook

Date of Publication: March 8th 2018

Publisher: Transworld Publishers

ISBN13: 9781473542099

Goodreads | Amazon


‘I usually experienced the presence of a dead body as an absence, but in this case, it felt like a black hole opening up in front of me’
Disconnected from his history and careless of his future, Detective Aidan Waits has resigned himself to the night shift. An endless cycle of meaningless emergency calls and lonely dead ends. Until he and his partner, Detective Inspector Peter ‘Sutty’ Sutcliffe, are summoned to The Palace, a vast disused hotel in the centre of a restless, simmering city. There they find the body of a man. He is dead. And he is smiling.
The tags have been removed from the man’s clothes. His teeth filed down and replaced. Even his fingertips are not his own. Only a patch sewn into the inside of his trousers gives any indication as to who he was, and to the desperate last act of his life…
But even as Waits puts together the pieces of this stranger’s life, someone is sifting through the shards of his own.
When the mysterious fires, anonymous phone calls and outright threats escalate, he realises that a ghost from his own past haunts his every move.
And to discover the smiling man’s identity, he must finally confront his own.


This book was even better than the previous one! I loved Sirens last year and I knew I’ll continue reading this series. So when the sequel to it called The Smiling Man was available on NetGalley, I had to get my hands on it. And I’m glad I did! In Sirens, I neither like our protagonist Aidan Waits nor did I hate him. He’s the perfect example of anti-hero. But in The Smiling Man, I absolutely loved him and felt for him. Not for a moment did I want to leave him alone. I was way more invested in this book than Sirens. The plot was way more complicated, with four plots running parallel and all converging in the third act. And what’s more, each one of the plots were equally important. You couldn’t have done away with any of them. The writing was crisp and easy flowing than the previous book, which is a major plus point. The third act was an absolute blast! I was at the edge of the seat, reading as fast as my eyes could run across the text. I hope to see more of Waits whenever he is ready.


Final Verdict:

The Smiling Man by Joseph Knox gets 5 out of 5 stars from me.


Thank you to Transworld Publishers for providing me with the e-book through NetGalley.

If you would like to see my review for the first Aidan Waits thriller, you can check it out here – Book 1

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