The Smiling Man by Joseph Knox | Review

The Smiling Man | Joseph Knox | Doubleday Publishing | Pub: March 8, 2018 | Pages: 400

I knew this was a highly rated book but for some reason, I kept pushing this read back and boy do I regret it!

I was hooked from the very first chapter! If you like dark books with lots of descriptive violence, this one is for you! It was so brutal sometimes I was cringing.

However, I realized this was a book series based on the main character Aidan Waits and I will read all the other books in that series. Unfortunately, there are only 3 books so far, the last one was released in 2019 so we are due for another one. I really fell in love with Aidan, he is very flawed but as the character develops you start to understand why he is that way and you just sort of root for him.

I’ll try something new for my review, instead of describing the book in full sentences I’ll just give a point form breakdown! Who has time to read reviews now anyways! Haha

  • Atmospheric
  • Eerie vibes
  • Unforeseeable twists
  • Excellent writing
  • Intricate plot and side plots

Highly recommend!

Thank you to Crown Publishing for providing me with an electronic ARC of this book via NetGalley. As usual, my reviews are my honest and unbiased opinions.

Books in order

Aidan Waits Thriller #1 - Sirens

Aidan Waits Thriller #2 – The Smiling Man

Aidan Waits Thriller #3 – The Sleepwalker


‘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.


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