#BlogTour #Review : Changeling by Matt Wesolowski. @ConcreteKraken @OrendaBooks #Changeling #SixStories

Today I’m on the blog tour for Changeling, my first of this year and what a tour to start the year on.  I’m thrilled to be reviewing this book today and have to give huge thanks to Anne Cater and Orenda books for having me on the tour.

changeling blog tour poster

 

Blurb:  On Christmas Eve in 1988, seven-year-old Alfie Marsden vanished in the dark Wentshire Forest Pass, when his father, Sorrel, stopped the car to investigate a mysterious knocking sound. 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 and his ex-partner, to try to find out what really happened that fateful night. Journeying 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 what happened to the little boy…

 

Changeling AW.indd

My Review: I read the second Six Stories book last year, you can find my review of Hydra here, and thought I loved that book I have to admit I thought this one was better. Having the joy of not working New Year’s Day, unlike last year, I decided that would be the perfect time to start this book, and as it turns out, finish it too as I read it in a day.  Although this is the third book in the Six Stories collection they do not have to be read in any particular order, there is enough background at the beginning of this book for you to be able to read it without having read the other two first.

I’m not a fanciful person as a rule but this book is seriously creepy, not helped at all by my neighbour who started knocking on the wall while I was reading. As Alfie Marsden went missing when his dad stopped his car because he heard a knocking noise you can perhaps understand a little of why my neighbours odd noises were not helpful at all.  As with Hydra this book is split into six podcasts with relevant information before and after each of them. This gives us snippets of the story of Alfie Marsden’s disappearance from the perspectives of those involved and those who knew him. It also gives us an insight into the failed development in the forest and why it failed.  The story and background of Alfie and his family build through these snippets and podcasts and the mystery surrounding his disappearance seems just as unsolvable as it did thirty years earlier when it happened.

This story grabbed me from the first pages and didn’t let up. It’s not that it’s fast paced or packed full of action but it gets under your skin and you want to know who is going to be on the podcast next, what other information are we going to get, is the mystery of Alfie’s disappearance ever going to be solved. And then you reach the later pages and it just blows you away, or at least it did for me. I thought the story was heading in one direction and it did the biggest u-turn you could ever imagine and just sent me in a completely different, but entirely fitting direction and I ended the book staring at it like it just smacked me over the head because, metaphorically, that’s exactly what it did!

This is a stunning and mesmerising read from an author who is just getting better and better.

 

 

About the author:

mattwesolowski (1)

 

Matt Wesolowski is an author from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the UK. He is an English tutor for young people in care. Matt started his writing career in horror, and his short horror fiction has been published in numerous UK- and US-based anthologies such as Midnight Movie Creature, Selfies from the End of the World, Cold Iron and many more. His novella, The Black Land, a horror story set on the Northumberland coast, was published in 2013.

 

Matt was a winner of the Pitch Perfect competition at Bloody Scotland Crime Writing
Festival in 2015. His debut thriller, Six Stories, was an Amazon bestseller in the
USA, Canada, the UK and Australia, and a WH Smith Fresh Talent pick, and TV
rights were sold to a major Hollywood studio. A prequel, Hydra, was published
in 2018 and became an international bestseller.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#Review #BlogTour : Hydra by Matt Wesolowski #hydra #sixstories

I am beyond thrilled today to be taking part in this blog tour. I have a review for you so read on and find out what I thought……….. 

Blurb:   One  cold  November  night  in  2014,  in  a  small  town  in  the  northwest  of  England,  21-year-old  Arla  Macleod bludgeoned  her  mother,  stepfather  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  key  witnesses  and  Arla  herself, as  he  questions  whether  Arla’s  responsibility  for  the  massacre  was  as  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  kids,  whose  presence  seems  to  extend  far  beyond  the  delusions  of  a murderess…  Dark,  chilling  and  gripping,  Hydra  is  both  a  classic  murder  mystery  and  an  up-to-the-minute, startling thriller that shines light in places you may never, ever want to see again.

My Rating: 5/5

Review:  I’ve rated this 5/5 but for this book that seems inadequate, maybe 8/5 or more would be better.  I missed the first book, Six Stories,  when it was coming out but was aware of the reviews and comments surrounding it so when I had the chance to be involved in the blog tour for this book I jumped on it. 

The best word I can use to describe this book is Wow! I can honestly say I’ve never read anything like it and I’ve been reading a long time. I’ve read quite a few book that had me hooked and engrossed so that’s not new but what this one did was get me not only hooked and engrossed but totally sucked in. The world disappeared. I didn’t rush through reading each page but at the same time even a seconds hesitation getting to the next page was too long.  I needed to know what happened next, what was going to be said or done. It’s like waiting for the dvd of a film you loved at the cinema or a favourite authors new book. You buy one copy but that’s not enough, you need 2, no 5, no maybe 10 will be enough. Maybe. 

I’m rambling I think but that’s as good a description I can give as to how I felt reading this book. I started off a bit confused, I admit, because I was expecting a slightly more conventional start but on page 2 I realised what was happening and the confusion disappeared.  The murder of  a family by a family member is always an appalling, and in some ways, fascinating crime because there is always the question of why they did it.  In this story we get insight from Arla Macleod, accused of killing her family.  We also get information from other people and the thoughts and comments throughout of Scott King, the creator of the Six Stories podcasts.  

While the story from Arla and the others is fascinating there is also an underlying creepiness to it.  I’m not going to spoil things but let’s just say I was a bit more careful in checking my doors and windows at night while reading, and huddled into my sofa as much as I could to feel safe. I don’t read horror stories and I’m not sure I’d class this as one but it definitely plays with your emotions and simultaneously makes you want to throw it to the farthest corner of the room and keep reading to find out what happens next. Obviously I never threw mine, I don’t want to break my kindle, but there were times when I wanted to hide it or put it away so that I could escape what I was reading and feel safe while at the same time not been able to tear myself away from it. 

This is genuinely an astonishingly brilliant book, definitely one you should read. It works perfectly as a stand alone, not having read Six Stories is not a hindrance. Though having said that I will be reading it once I have sufficiently recovered from reading this.  I think I need a lie down now, maybe I’ll keep the lights on though, just in case……… 

Author bio: 

Matt  Wesolowski  is  from  Newcastle-Upon-Tyne  in  the  UK.  He  is  an  English  tutor  for  young people  in  care.  Matt  started  his  writing  career  in  horror,  and  his  short  horror  fiction  has been  published  in  numerous  UK-  and  US-based  anthologies  such  as  Midnight  Movie Creature  Feature,  Selfies  from  the  End  of  the  World,  Cold  Iron  and  many  more.  His  novella, The  Black  Land, a  horror  set  on  the  Northumberland  coast, was  published  in  2013. Matt was  a  winner  of  the  Pitch  Perfect  competition  at  Bloody  Scotland  Crime  Writing  Festival  in 2015.  His  debut  thriller,  Six  Stories, was  an  Amazon  bestseller  in  the  USA,  Canada,  the  UK and  Australia,  and  a  WHSmith  Fresh  Talent  pick,  and  film  rights  were  sold  to  a  major Hollywood studio.