The Stone Man – 10th Anniversary Special Edition

How would you like to not only read an entirely new edit of The Stone Man, but also have a new foreword, afterword, and over 120 pages of bonus content and deleted scenes from Books 1-3? What’s that? Sounds good? Well how about a cracking new set of covers for the set so far… as the countdown to March of the Stone Men continues? Check out the beautiful new artwork below, and click HERE to get your copy of The Stone Man – 10th Anniversary Special Edition. Wait, it’s been 10 bloody years?!

Overdue Update

Hi folks. I’ve been quiet online for a while, as you’ll notice from the empty social feeds on the right hand side of the page. So quiet, in fact, that I released two novels and, while I listed them in the Books page, I didn’t actually make a post about them on the main feed of the website… so the home page still shows The Empty Men! There’s going to be a lot of activity coming between around November to April, and as a precursor to that, here at least are the two books I’ve released since my last post: The Stone Giant – The Stone Man, Book Three, and You See the Monster. I’m extremely proud of both of these so if you’ve been following the Stone Man series or just fancy a what I consider to be a modern horror novel then these two bad boys are the books for you. Universal Amazon links below, and my apologies for the radio silence. Exciting news coming soon (for real), so watch this space; in fact don’t watch this space, sign up to the Luke Smitherd Spam-Free Book Release Newsletter. That thing is the shit, I tell you, and you’ll miss nothing. Don’t be a ring piece, get yourself signed up. Your brain and loins will thank you.



YSTM Final Cover 2021



… is finally here.

The Empty Men Kindle 2 Hi Res (white)

THE EMPTY MEN on Amazon 



The long-awaited sequel to the number one Amazon and Audible best seller The Stone Man, shortlisted for Audible Book of the Year 2015.

On a quiet seafront in the middle of the afternoon the sun sets, the clouds part and something like a pale, elongated human figure appears on the horizon. 

For Maria, watching from the beach, it’s proof that she should never have dared to return. Five years earlier, her life shattered by the arrival of the Stone Man, she’d fled the country. But now she can’t escape: suddenly, there are news reports of ‘Empty Men’ materialising all around the coast, and the roads are gridlocked. The Empty Men are killers, and they’re heading inland. 

A hundred miles from the sea, lonely, grieving Eric obsessively keeps watch in the ruins of Coventry, never straying far from Ground Zero, the site of the Stone Man’s first appearance. For five years, Eric has known there was a massive government cover-up of the circumstances surrounding the Stone Man and its disappearance, and he’s determined to find the truth. 

As Maria battles the Empty Men in a desperate chase for survival and Eric is caught in a terrifying transformation of Ground Zero, both find themselves on a path leading straight to the heart of the Stone Man mystery.

Chilling, fast-paced and full of stunning twists, this is the highly anticipated second book in Luke Smitherd’s Stone Man series.

Go get it!


Tales of the unusual lower res audiobook cover
This just in: my new Audible ONLY release, Tales of the Unusual, is out NOW! Not pre-order, but actually out and available right now. It’s only available on Audible because this book collects the stories in He Waits (He Waits and Keep Your Children Close) Do Anything (Closure and Your Name Is In The Book) as well as an audiobook exclusive publication of The Jesus Loophole. I didn’t want to release these as a collected edition in print or ebook form as I didn’t want to affect sales of the individual versions of those books, but wanted to give audiobook ‘readers’ a chance to hear these stories too.

Five more stories from Luke Smitherd to keep you intrigued, shocked, and asking what you would do…

“He Waits”: Quite literally, no escape. Because he’s always with you. And in the real world – the world of you, the listener – “He Waits” will stay in your mind in a way that you won’t expect…

“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.

“The Jesus Loophole”: Published here for the first time, in any format. Obsession, revenge, and a very big question: can God’s system of sin and redemption be played to your own advantage?

“Closure”: A winter walk in the woods seemed like a great idea to Gary and his wife, Carla. But when another version of himself appears and kidnaps Gary’s wife before his very eyes, Gary must decide whether or not to use the strange mechanical devices his duplicate has left him…and then live with the choice.

“Your Name Is In The Book”: When 11-year-old John Diner comes home to find an immense, mysterious book lying on his bed – its cover torn off, every page an endless list of names, some of which even belong to people he knows – he assumes its some kind of phone directory. It has to be, right? Even when the only numbers inside are single digits; solitary and curious scores printed next to each person listed. A puzzle, for sure…and a warning. A desperate message from an unseen stranger, a man trying to explain a terrible truth. John will find himself uncovering a darker reality than he can ever imagine, and the beginning of his road towards an impossible choice.

Audible UK link –
Audible USA link –

Can You Write A Better Blurb Than Me?

Hello everyone. A lot of you will have read my fourth (technically fifth) novel, A Head Full Of Knives. It has nearly 200 reviews on each side of the Atlantic, with scores of 4.7 (UK) and 4.5 (USA). That’s pretty respectable, both in terms of review numbers and overall score. So what’s the problem?
It doesn’t sell.
To put it into context: at the time of writing, my top four bestselling books are The Stone Man, In The Darkness, How To Be A Vigilante, and Kill Someone. The order changes a lot (although Cementum himself is pretty much always at the top, as much as Charlie and Minnie knock him off the top spot more and more these days… ) but generally that’s it. The Physics of the Dead will sneak in there too sometimes, as does Weird. Dark.
But Knives? Never.
I’ve tried three different covers, and all sorts of optimisation tricks in the book’s setup (trust me, I’ve tried them all), and two completely different blurbs. I think a fourth cover is in order, and a huge part of the problem is with the book’s title (it just doesn’t appeal the way the others do.) It’s too late to do anything about that… but the cover can be changed. As can the blurb.
And that’s what I want you to help me with.
The blurbs of my books are always… troublesome, and there’s a good reason why, one that has become especially clear with the healthy early sales of Vigilante and Kill Someone (hands down, by a country mile, my most successful launches.) Here’s the difference:
With Vigilante and Kill Someone, I can tell you what the book is all about, and it doesn’t ruin the story.
How come? Think about it. If you’ve read those books, try and sum the setup of the story as if you were explaining the scenario of the book to someone else. Done it? Ok. Now, ask yourself this question:
Have you given away any major parts of the plot, or spoiled any of the fun or intrigue of the book?
The answer, I would think, would be no. Therefore I can say in those books’ blurb exactly what they’re about, sell the story to the reader, and kill none of the fun.
Now take a story like The Man On Table Ten. A story where, until about halfway through the book, you have no idea what the guy’s big secret is… and that’s what has kept you reading the story. Once that secret is revealed, the story becomes all about how not only the Man himself handles that secret, but the waitress’ response to it. Now imagine reading that story when you already know what the secret is. It would still be good (I hope) but you’ve taken a huge amount of the book’s hook away.
Now multiply that driven-by-the-mystery angle by about five, and you have A Head Full Of Knives. The book is literally mystery-reveal, mystery-reveal, mystery-reveal for the entire plot.
Now try and sum up what that story is about without giving anything important away, and still make it sound appealing to the average reader.
You can see my first effort on the book’s Amazon page, and if you have an early paperback copy you’ll have the original blurb too. Think you can do better? Good.
Guess what? We’re going to have a competition.
Come up with your own blurb for A Head Full Of Knives and send it to me by January 1st, and I’ll not only pick the best one and use it on the book’s Amazon page, Audible page and on the paperback version’s back cover, but I’ll send you a signed paperback copy of the book with the new cover and your blurb on it, thanking you for coming up with that blurb.
Important: if I don’t think any of the entries are quite right, I’ll be honest, they won’t be used, but I’ll still pick my favourite out of those and send the winner their copy of the new version of the book. Believe me, though; I really hope someone does produce a belter here because I would be very happy if they did.
Get thinking, get writing, and have a happy festive period.
Stay Hungry folks.
PS if you’ve read the book but never put your review up on Amazon UK and USA… well… ah, do I really even need to say it these days?

My New Novel, KILL SOMEONE, out December 6th

Hello folks. My new full-length novel, Kill Someone, comes out on December 6th in all formats, and is available for pre-order now. Here’s the blurb:

“From the author of the international best-seller The Stone Man, shortlisted for Audible UK’s Book of the Year Award 2015

Here are the rules.

Method: you can’t use a gun. You can’t use explosives. You can’t use poison. It has to be up close and personal. You don’t have to worry about leaving evidence; that will be taken care of.
Victim: no one suicidal. No one over the age of 65. No one with a terminal illness.

Choose your method. Choose your victim.

Chris Summer was a 21 year old call centre worker and a drop out. A nobody, still living at home with his parents. Then one day the Man in White came to his family’s house, offering a seemingly impossible choice: kill a random stranger – one of Chris’ choosing – within twelve days in order to save the lives of five kidnapped siblings. Refuse, and they die slowly and painfully. The clock is ticking, the Man in White is watching, and Chris has some very important choices to make.

This is a tale of fear, indecision, confused masculinity and brutal violence; a story of a coddled young man thrust into a world of sharp metal and bone.
Ask yourself if you could do it. Then ask yourself who you would choose.”

Sound interesting? No? Oh. Well… uh, goodbye then. Sorry. But for those of you who are still here, here is the pre-order link so you can go and buy your copy now, and the book will automatically appear on launch day on your device! I love the future!

But… how would you like to get the book not only three weeks before the release date, but for free? (If you’re a long-time Smithereen, you’ll know what’s coming next, but… if you were in the last Premature Release group, you need to sign up again. I’ll explain that in a second, but first:)

If you sign up to Luke Smitherd’s Even More All-New Premature Release Review Group at the link below, you will get a copy of Kill Someone three weeks before it officially comes out. All I ask in return is that you promise to leave me a review on launch day, and send me a screen grab or a photo of your review (and yes, you get a reminder email on the day so that you don’t forget ;-)) There’s a better explanation of the rules on the sign up link below, but that’s pretty much it. Either way, you can have a read before you decide to sign up. Were you already on the last list? That’s great, but, um… I managed to delete everybody’s Amazon Reviewer names from my files, which were vital. So I’ve had to start a new group. Current reviewer group members will be getting an email explaining that they need to sign up again too, so watch out for that (sorrysorrysorrysorry).

Important point: I’ve been asked this a few times by review group members in the past, so I’ll say it here: a lot of you want to ‘support the cause’ so to speak. Thank you. Some people say they want to pay (thank you) and so don’t join the early review group. Guys! You can do both! Even if you pre-order you can still sign up for the Premature Release group, and you’ll still get the book early in return for a launch day review. This is, obviously, the ideal situation for me, but don’t feel in any way guilty if you just wanna get it free. The launch day review system worked really well last time and I’m very grateful to all the people that kept up their end of the bargain.

So here are your links. Take whatever action you deem appropriate, and thank you for being a part of my team! Probably not a good idea to mention any association with me when in a job interview, or under ‘interests’ on a CV/resume. They haul you away for that sh*t.

PS the podcast it still going by the way. Are You Sure? with Smitherd and Shaw. Check us out on whatever podcast platform you use. We’re funny.

How To Be A Vigilante: A Diary is now OUT!

How To Be A Vigilante Kindle Cover

In the late 1990s, a laptop was found in a service station just outside of Manchester. It contained a digital journal entitled ‘TO THE FINDER: OPEN NOW TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE!’ Now, for the first time, that infamous diary is being published in its entirety.

It’s 1998. The internet age is still in its infancy. Google has just been founded. Eighteen year old supermarket shelf-stacker Nigel Carmelite has decided that he’s going to become a vigilante.
There are a few problems: how is he going to even find crime to fight on the streets of Derbyshire? How will he create a superhero costume – and an arsenal of crime-fighting weaponry – on a shoestring budget? And will his history of blackouts and crippling social inadequacy affect his chances?
This is Nigel’s account of his journey; part diary, part deluded self-help manual, tragically comic and slowly descending into what is arguably Luke Smitherd’s darkest and most violent novel.
What do you believe in? And more importantly …should you?

Praise for Luke Smitherd’s writing:
“For me there is no greater joy than seeing an artist excel at his craft … you’ll be blown away by the abundance of ideas.” – Ain’t It Cool
Available in all formats, get your copy using the links below! 🙂
Universal Amazon link:

Audible UK:
Audible USA:

Want to get ‘How To Be A Vigilante: A Diary’ a month early?

How To Be A Vigilante Kindle Cover

Yep, my new novel How To Be A Vigilante: A Diary (although technically its my very first novel) is available for pre-order on Amazon now by clicking here! It will then be automatically beamed to your Kindle when its released on September 14th. So go pre-order now! Waaaaaah!

But wait …of course, you can just do that. Of course you could. But …how would you not only like to get it a month earlier than the release date, but for free?

All you need to do is click on the link below to sign up to my all-new Luke’s Smitherd’s All-New Premature Release Review Group. That’s right, the old group has been dismantled for reasons that will be explained when you click on the link (don’t worry, you can read them before you decide sign up or not; the link just takes you through to a rules and reviewer info page.) The rules are a bit stricter this time because a few people took advantage last time, sadly, but in a nutshell what you need to agree to do is this: read the book, and put up a review on September 14th. In return, I’ll send you an advance review copy of the book to read, absolutely free.


Q and A:

1. Yes, if you’re already a member of the old group, you have to sign up to the new group to take part.Sorry. There’s a reason why and it’s on the rules page too.
2. People often ask if they can pay when they get a free review copy; of course you can. Just click on the pre-order link above to buy the book, and I’ll still send you your copy early if you join the review group.
3. Yes, if you join the group and don’t keep up your end of the bargain, you will be banned from the mailing list and any future offers. I really, really hate to talk about stuff like that but if you did that I would consider it theft, and you, a cad.
4. Of course, if you just want to pre-order and are happy to wait until September 14th, you absolutely can! Just click on the pre-order link at the top of the email, or here! 🙂
5. Audiobook guys: sorry, but i can’t send you an early audiobook version I’m afraid. However, once it comes out, there will be free download codes going around in exchange for reviews. More on that nearer the time.

Either way: a new full-length novel is on its way very soon folks. I hope you’re as excited about my massive built-up release as I am.*

*pffft ….pffft ….bwahahahahahahaha!!!!

I’m Being Published.

Ok, it’s all been signed off and confirmed and so now I can officially announce the big bit of news that I’ve been hinting at.

I’m being published.

Audible are actually going to produce and publish the audiobook of KILL SOMEONE. ANYONE. An advance has been agreed and, more importantly, they’re going to be marketing it. That last part, as you perhaps already realise, is absolutely huge to someone like me who has only had themselves – as well as some of you guys who really help spread the word, and recently Joanne Giovenco whose I would like to publicly thank for her invaluable help, as well as Laurence and Henna at Audible and of course Sophie at ACX – to try and get the books in front of people. 

If this interests you the next questions probably are: when’s it coming out, and who is going to be doing the voiceover? The honest answers are 1. Not 100% sure but probably November I should think, as production time is roughly two months. 2. I don’t know. It might be me, but while I’ll be being consulted about it the final decision for that lies with them. It’s a small concession for me to make, and I trust their judgement.

The good news for this is also that I can schedule a simultaneous Amazon and Audible release for not only that book but HOW TO BE A VIGILANTE: A DIARY as well.

All release dates will be confirmed soon, and pre-orders will be possible too. Those of you who want to join the launch team (advance copies in exchange for launch day reviews) get on the mailing list.

For those of you who have spread the word and left your reviews, thank you so much. If you hadn’t made noise, this never would have happened.

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