1. I Am Mr. Grief
Jerry and Robert are as different as can be, but they have been best friends since college. They’ve been brought closer together by their shared losses and grief over the death of their wives just a few years apart. Robert shows up at Jerry’s wife’s funeral looking like a new man. He tells Jerry of a mysterious man who helped him after he nearly killed himself over his overwhelming grief.
This is a story of high emotion dealing with the loss of someone you love so much. Smitherd is an author who deals with emotion and he is a master of his craft. He has the ability to make you feel what the characters are feeling, bringing you that much further into the world’s he creates. I found myself trying to guess who this mysterious man is the whole way through the story, because his identity and how he helps are left very vague until the very end. I never did guess right either.
2. The Crash
Sarah is an event coordinator getting ready for her first real booking. She is in a huge rush because the vendor sent the wrong colored fabric. She was able to get them to overnight the correct color but she has to stop back off at her loft to pick them up. On her way home she gets into a minor car crash with a parked Mercedes. The owner is nowhere around and Sarah makes the decisions to leave since the damage is so minimal. This is the catalyst to a series of events that keep getting stranger.
This is a story of psychological suspense. As the main character becomes more scared you are left wondering what is going on and if she is simply going crazy.
3. Hold On Until Your Fingers Break
Tom wakes up looking haggard and sick, not remembering what happened the night before. He assumes he had been out binge drinking with his best friend since childhood, Terry. Terry shows up, also not knowing what happened, and their appearances shock Tom’s mom. On the way to the doctor they meet Tom’s neighbor, who screams and runs at the sight of them, but later shows up at Tom’s house begging them to come to his house so that together, they can unravel this mystery.
This is a tale of desperation when no hope is in sight. It tears at your heart and your psyche as you experience these events with Tom and Terry. Their desperation is yours and all you want to do is try to help them.
4. The Man on Table Ten
Lisa is a busy college student just trying to make it through finals and finish at her university. She’s a waitress at a bar and on one slow day an odd older gentleman comes in ordering a lot of alcohol and a fatty meal of sausages and chips. She gets a bad feeling from him but engages him anyway finally hearing a tale too bizarre to be real… or is it?
This is the tale of a man with the weight of the world on his shoulders and he’s just ready for it to be over. He’s old and he’s tired.
Of you are can of Stephen King you will be a fan of Luke Smitherd. He’s quickly becoming one of my favourite authors. He’s an expert at revealing the darkness in the human condition. And like King, I spotted references to characters from another work, linking his stories into a single universe. Once again, I was captivated and can’t wait to read more of his titles.