THE TERROR OF LIVING, Urban Waite’s first novel, can reasonably be described as a work of art.

THE TERROR OF LIVING is set in Washington State, and is the story of several good men…and one who is truly evil, demented on the level we haven’t seen since Dr. Lechter avowed his affinity for fava beans and Chianti. These characters are chiseled as if from granite, their lines sharp and struck through with shades of nuance.

I was particularly fascinated by one of the good men in question, Phil Hunt, because he is what my uncle might have been. Uncle Mike was a great guy, and I loved him dearly. He was also a drug dealer, and he died at the ripe old age of 34 in the early 1980s. Waite’s protagonist, Phil Hunt, is a good man who has done—and continues to do—some bad things. But Waite’s portrait is one drawn in shades of gray, and as such, it does people like Uncle Mike justice.

THE TERROR OF LIVING is incredibly graphic, and at a shade under 200 pages, it wastes not one single word. Some of what Waite leaves unsaid, unexplained—like bad guy Grady’s back story—gave me fodder to let my imagination run wild.

If I could offer Urban Waite just one piece of advice, it would be this: Enjoy the reviews. Revel in them. Don’t let these reviews take the place, though, of connecting with your audience—your early adopters are your best advocates, and will remain so. They are more powerful than reviewers when it comes to selling books.

I’m always a little skeptical about first novels from young writers that receive copious critical acclaim. Sometimes I find them pretentious, but mostly I lament—in advance—the fact that so many young writers who meet with grandiose success then lapse into a pattern of novels that are short on editing and story and long on…words. I have hope, though, for Mr. Waite, in part because of his background in engineering.

THE TERROR OF LIVING is engineered in all the very best ways.

p.s. Many of the glowing reviews for THE TERROR OF LIVING are coming from the UK and Ireland. So it would be nice if Mr. Urban would learn that Ireland is not in the UK, nor vice versa. Just saying.

Blurb: Populated with characters that will haunt your dreams.

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