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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2017 Luke Smitherd (P)2020 Audible, Ltd

What listeners say about The Empty Men

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Always good

Another winner from Luke Smitherd. His books are always a good read/listen. Highly recommend.

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love it

Well worth the wait for this, expanding on the ideas of the first book while giving us a creepy new threat to be scared of. Fantastic! Can't wait for the movie.

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The Empty Men is Brilliant and More!

I so very impressed with this sequel to The Stone Man! Mr. Smitherd’s descriptions allowed me to see the blood, hear the screams, and feel the desperation and determination of his characters! I promise I don’t only say these things because the author begs his readers to write good reviews...the book is really, really good! I’ll be waiting for more!!

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Writer's afterword

I doubt you'll ever read this Luke but if you do - huge thank you as an avid fan. To anyone considering reading this - do it. You won't regret it. Get a move on with book 3 though mate :) ill buy it twice if the sales #s need to convince you to keep going

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An AMAZING sequel!

I was afraid this wouldn’t live up to the first book, but it exceeded all expectations! Can’t wait to read the next Luke Smitherd masterpiece. This is a must read, especially if you’ve read The Stone Man.

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  • Me
  • 11-11-20

So good

The author really tells a good story. Adding to the first book with necessity, not redundancy. Great new characters, surprises, and well thought out connecting plot points. More please.

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Book need a model taken on women characters.

Before my review of Luke Smitherd’s new book, I need to relate it to 2 other book I listened to recently. Both were scifi related, written in the 1960s. I read them years ago and considered both a favorites. But listening to them recently I was surprised by how women were depicted. In the first book, women characters were mostly secretaries with no impact on the story. And a male character describes all women as sexually neurotic. In the second book, there was one minor female character that the main character decided to marry... because she was a good mother. The only other woman mentioned was an airline attendant who the main character ogled her butt. Listening to these books in a modern context, made me rethink my judgment of them. Sixty years later, women characters don’t fair much better in “The Hollow Men”. There are 2 main characters - a man and a woman. Due to events in the story, both are under stress. The Man: He is driven by curiosity despite his fear. He makes friends with a couple other men he meets, but he’s largely self-sufficient. The Woman: she is constantly in a state of panic or hysteria - driven by her fear. She’s dependent of other people (mostly men) for her safety. (NOTE: There is a minor character, a carry over from The Stone Man. She’s in a position of authority and regularly barker orders. But we know nothing about her or how she ticks.) Maybe my opinion is shaded by listening to those other books I mentioned. It also doesn’t help that fairly early I found I didn’t like either main character very much. I don’t think Luke Smitherd is a misogynist but in his next book I’d suggest he re-examine the women characters. I don’t think modern women are helpless and need always be protected. They can be action heroes too.

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The weirdness in Coventry continues...

The Team of Smitherd and Addis continue to spin the tale of the Stone and now Empty men as they march across England. A fascinating, complex, and strange tale that is crisply written and performed. This is a strong sequel to The Stone Man, although it is a solid stand-alone offering as well. One can hope this team will stay together for future offerings, as they complement one another. The actions of the characters are believable for the most part, as is their interactions with one another. I highly recommend this series.

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Very good

A great sequel. I’m looking forward to the third book. I have listened to almost everything he has put on Audible, and he consistently delivers my money’s worth. Also, if the author reads this, you do an amazing job reading your own work. The person who read this one and The Stone Man is very good, but judging from your other books, I enjoyed your readings just as much.

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Great follow up!

Loved it! Really good follow up to The Stone Man! The readers has the perfect voice for the story.

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  • Zidanny
  • 11-06-20

Fantastic sequel

Brilliantly written by Luke Smitherd and wonderfully narrated by Matt Addis. I absolutely loved the first book and have waited years to read/listen to the sequel. Smitherd has managed to meet the high expectations that his readers are now used to. I highly recommend.

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  • maveric78
  • 11-09-20

Disappointing

I’m a massive Smitherd fan. I’ve read his entire back catalogue but I’m sad to report that this is (IMO) his weakest effort. For the first time it was an effort to get to the end. The characters were under developed and grated. There was pace but zero suspense. The plot was weak and convoluted... It felt like a bit of a (whisper it)... cash in.

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  • Liam Curran
  • 11-07-20

Luke Smitherd at his best

I loved it! Great narration as always by Matt Addis. the story pretty much picked up where the last book left off so I'm glad I re listened to The Stone Man when The Empty Men appeared in the pre order section. The story is just as good as the first book, full of mystery, suspense and humour. I'm not really a fan of making books into movies but I wish they would of this series just so it would reach a wider audience. it deserves to be noticed!

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  • Mr. C. J. Heath
  • 11-11-20

Disappointed

I'm really sad to report that I'm about halfway through the book and I'm totally bored with it. Uninteresting and confusing characters and storyline which jumps around and I find impossible to follow. I'm a massive fan of all Luke Smithard books and this is the first one I'm unable to finish. Really sad as I was really excited to listen to it. Can't understand the glowing reviews at all.

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  • Daniel
  • 11-10-20

Really enjoyed the follow up to TSM

Kept me engaged throughout wanting to know what was going to happen next. Well worth buying.

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  • Kindle CustomerMyn
  • 11-20-20

Excellent!

A brilliant follow up to The Stone Men. I now can’t wait to read more of Luke Smitherd’s books. The narrator is a perfect choice.

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  • Mark Brennan
  • 11-18-20

Very satisfying sequel

Really enjoyed this sequel- great story and very well read ! I’ve enjoyed all of the books I’ve read by Luke Smitherd !

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  • mle
  • 11-14-20

Smashed it

The stone man was the first (of many) Luke Smitherd books I listened to. Part 2 is brilliant, loved it, finished in 2 days. great to hear Matt Addis again, no offence Luke I love your narration to! when's book 3 coming?!!

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  • Rowell H
  • 11-14-20

Keep it coming

Thoroughly enjoyed this book even though it left a lot of questions unanswered. Matt Addis’ performance is spot on too. Can’t wait for the next instalment.

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  • Johnny
  • 11-13-20

Great stuff !

Intelligent thriller scenes fiction good speed to it couldn’t put it down wish I didn’t end kind of stuff.. Love the introduction of a second book that has the same impact as the first but on the other cheek Well done! And brilliant narrator wouldn’t work without him

2 people found this helpful

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  • DebB
  • 11-12-20

Wonderful sequel...loved it!

The Stone Man is one of my favourite books, and yay finally a sequel..The Empty Men! It was such joy to step back into that world, to meet new characters and a new threat. What a great book. No spoilers here.. all I’ll say is if you enjoyed The Stone Man, you’ll LOVE The Empty Men.