Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Changeling by Matt Wesolowski - Six Stories Series Spotlight

I am delighted to be today's slot on the Blog Tour for Changeling by Matt Wesolowski. I've read all three books in his Six Stories series so far (published by Orenda Books) and urge you to read them if you haven't already done so. 

Here's a brief recap to help you catch up.

About the series
The three books in the series so far are Six StoriesHydra and Changeling. These classic murder mysteries are given a modern twist with their hint of horror and supernatural. Each book is skilfully executed through a series of six podcasts. They all feature the reclusive journalist Scott King, who is investigating cold cases by interviewing leading witnesses to see if they reveal further snippets of information.
The books feel so real that part of me is convinced that these are genuine cases and genuine podcasts and that Matt Wesolowski has a secret life as a crime podcaster. This would mean he IS his character, but he hasn't revealed that yet! 😜😂😱

Six Stories (published in paperback on 15 March 2017)

1997. Scarclaw Fell. The body of teenager Tom Jeffries is found at an outward bound centre. Verdict? Misadventure. But not everyone is convinced. And the truth of what happened in the beautiful but eerie fell is locked in the memories of the tight-knit group of friends who took that fateful trip, and the flimsy testimony of those living nearby. 2017. Enter elusive investigative journalist Scott King, whose podcast examinations of complicated cases have rivalled the success of Serial, with his concealed identity making him a cult internet figure.

My verdict
Six Stories is an eerie spine-tingling read. It's unpredictable and chilling and kept me guessing all the way through. I don't scare easily, but certainly found this book unsettling. Matt Wesolowski has built up a dark, atmospheric setting with his vivid descriptive prose. The voices were so distinctive that I felt like I was listening to a podcast rather than simply reading the transcript. I built up a picture of the people, relationships between characters and an amazing sense of place. It felt more like fact than fiction - and I had to keep reminding myself that Scarclaw Fell isn't real!

To read my full review, click here.

Hydra (published in paperback on 15 January 2018)

Before Scarfell Claw, there was Hydra… One cold November night in 2014, in a small town in the north west of England, 26-year-old Arla Macleod bludgeoned her mother, father and younger sister to death with a hammer, in an unprovoked attack known as the 'Macleod Massacre'. Now incarcerated at a medium-security mental-health institution, Arla will speak to no one but Scott King, an investigative journalist, whose ‘Six Stories’ podcasts have become an internet sensation. King finds himself immersed in an increasingly complex case, interviewing five witnesses and Arla herself, as he questions whether Arla’s responsibility for the massacre was a diminished as her legal team made out. As he unpicks the stories, he finds himself thrust into a world of deadly forbidden ‘games’, online trolls, and the mysterious Black-eyed Children, whose presence extends far beyond the delusions of a murderess…  

My verdict
Hydra is just as creepy and chilling - a perfect mix of crime, horror and supernatural - and just as unsettling. It follows the same brilliant format as Six Stories - six linked podcasts investigating a cold case (the Macleod Massacre). Investigative journalist Scott King interviews six different witnesses, including Arla Macleod herself - now held in a medium-security mental health institution. This book reveals the dark side of teenage obsessive behaviour - do you really know what your teenagers are up to behind their locked doors?

To read my full review, click here.

Changeling (published in paperback on 24 January 2019)

On Christmas Eve in 1988, seven-year-old Alfie Marsden vanished in the Wentshire Forest Pass, when a burst tyre forced his father, Sorrel, to stop the car. Leaving the car to summon the emergency services, Sorrel returned to find his son gone. No trace of the child, nor his remains, have ever been found. Alfie Marsden was declared officially dead in 1995.
Elusive online journalist, Scott King, whose ‘Six Stories’ podcasts have become an internet sensation, investigates the disappearance, interviewing six witnesses, including Sorrel, his son and his ex-partner, to try to find out what really happened that fateful night. He takes a journey through the trees of the Wentshire Forest – a place synonymous with strange sightings, and tales of hidden folk who dwell there. He talks to a company that tried and failed to build a development in the forest, and a psychic who claims to know where Alfie is…

My verdict
A missing child, a grieving father, a neglectful alcoholic mother, things that go tap tap tap in the night, local folklore, creepy forests... Plus gripping writing, authentic dialogue, heart-pounding tension and a final twist that I seriously didn’t see coming! Yes, as you may have guessed, I loved Changeling.

To read my full review, click here.

Message to Matt Wesolowski and Karen Sullivan (Orenda Books): Bring on the next one! I'm assuming that there is a next one ... and hoping that we don't have to wait TOO long! No pressure. None at all. 😂

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for your Blog TOur support Vicki x