Changeling by Matt Wesolowski blog tour #bookreview @ConcreteKraken @OrendaBooks

Changeling (Six Stories Book 3) by [Wesolowski, Matt]

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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…
Intensely dark, deeply chilling and searingly thought provoking, Changeling is an up-to-the-minute, startling thriller, taking you to places you will never, ever forget.

MY THOUGHTS

Matt Wesolowski has written another cracking story with Changeling. Literally, once I started reading this, I couldn’t stop. This version of Six Stories sees our presenter, Scott King investigating a thirty-year-old cold case. Seven-year-old Alfie Marsden disappeared near a forest in Wiltshire in 1988 on Christmas Eve, and the mystery surrounding his disappearance has haunted many people for three decades as it has never been solved. It seems that no one is ever going to understand the truth as to what happened to Alfie that night, but Scott King is determined to try and find the answers.

I absolutely love the style of Matt’s books. Telling the story through a series of podcasts is a very original idea, and with each book I’ve read by him, I’ve felt as though I was learning about a true crime that has taken place, rather than a fictional one. There is always a very creepy element to these books which is another thing I really like about them. In the last book Hydra, I remember feeling compelled to research the black-eyed children, which Matt was referring to, but I was too frightened to do so after reading the book.

Changeling has the essence of a Brother’s grim fairy-tale. As Scott King looks into Alfie’s disappearance, he examines numerous reports of strange, “paranormal” activities which were taking place in and around the forest area at the time Alfie went missing. There are also mentions of “changeling children”, children who are swapped by fairies; the human child was taken to live in their realm only to be replaced in our world by a beastly child. I have to admit here that reading about the changeling children, did creep me out quite a bit. There is a lot of talk about folklore in this book, and this is what made this story so fascinating to me, as I wondered if these stories had any bearing on what had happened to Alfie.

Once again we hear from the viewpoints of six people who were somehow connected to the case, Alfie’s family, witnesses to the strange events that took place and his teachers. As I got to read their thoughts and opinions, the case became even more interesting, and I was so keen to get to the bottom of it all. As the story is told in the form of an interview, through a podcast, I think it would make an excellent audiobook, so if you are an audio listener, I would definitely recommend giving this one a go as well as the other books in the series.

I really did not expect the direction this book took as the final revelations about the case came to light. Matt Wesolowski took me totally by surprise by the twist, and I’ve spent days thinking about it, especially as I’ve tried a few times to sit down and write this review. I am wondering now how he is going to take the series from here, and I hope there is going to be another book.

Changeling is another outstanding addition to this series. The writing will pull you in from the first page, and you won’t be able to stop reading until you find out the truth about what has happened to Alfie.

Thank you to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to join the blog tour and to Karen Sullivan for the advance review copy.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 15th November 2018 (kindle) 24th January 2019 (paperback)

Print length: 271 pages

If you would like to purchase Changeling you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below.

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones

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Changeling Blog Tour Poster

#Hydra by Matt Wesolowski #review #Blog Tour @OrendaBooks @ConcreteKraken

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In November 2014 Arla Macleod bludgeoned her mother, father and sister to death with a hammer. 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.

MY THOUGHTS

It is so hard to put into words how clever and good this book is. I still need to get round to reading Six Stories, I can see it sitting there on my shelf, glaring at me, but now that I’ve read Hydra I’ll be bumping it right up to the top of my reading pile. I loved the idea of presenting a story through a series of podcasts which is what makes this novel, utterly unique. We hear from six different perspectives in this book, and the author has managed to give each character their own unique voice, it certainly didn’t feel like an interview as I was reading. And, oh my gosh, those black-eyed children. I read a few reviews prior to reading this book where it mentions how frightening they are and they genuinely did give me the creeps. I was tempted to research them as I was reading this book, but I have to admit I was too frightened to do so. Even now I can picture them inside my head, and they still make me shiver.

The case which our presenter examines in Hydra is a disturbing one. In 2014, Arla Macleod bludgeoned her family to death. Arla has since been sectioned, and even though there is no doubt that she killed her family, Scott still wants to examine her life and try to answer the question of why she did what she did. Why did she take it upon herself to kill her family? What was at the very root of the bloodshed? Scott speaks to five people who knew Arla from various times in her childhood and in her teenage years. Unsettling details about Arla’s past emerge out of the hat, and perhaps Scott gets closer to understanding what prompted her to commit such a heinous act. But someone is desperate to stop him from uncovering the truth and soon he finds that he is risking everything that he has worked for, to get to the truth.

The presenter, Scott King, delves into the heart of the Arla Macleod mystery as he examines the case in fresh ways, each episode, looking at it with a new perspective each time. What I found really interesting about this book was the paranormal aspect to the story, as I mentioned earlier the book frightened me so much that I couldn’t even bring myself to research what the author was writing about. You know that a book is good when it has this effect on you. I would suggest reading this book in the daytime and not just before you go to sleep. This book will thrill crime and horror fans.

What I was also intrigued by was how my opinion of Arla changed as the book progressed, she was an absolutely fascinating character to learn about as we take a look at her past life (through people who knew her) and how she is in the present. I’m not going to say anything about the plot here as I don’t want to spoil it but I did not see that final reveal coming. Absolutely brilliant!

This is a really exceptional book. I, for one, am excited to see what Matt will come up with next and I’ll be getting round to reading Six Stories very soon. Creepy, and so so good, I think I’ll be thinking and talking about this book for a long time. Thank you to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books for sending me a copy of the book to review and Anne Cater for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.

Publisher: Orenda

Publication date: 15th January 2018

Print length: 320 pages

If you would like to purchase Hydra, you can do so by clicking on the following links below.

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones

 

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