Delighted to be on the Orenda blog tour for this fantastic book.
My Thoughts & Review
I really loved Matt Wesolowski’s previous book Six Stories. It was on my list of ‘Outstanding Books Of 2017’, so I couldn’t wait to read this latest one by him. This book is an absolute masterpiece of suspense and will definitely have a place on my Outstanding Books list for this year.
Once more Matt uses the same format, that’s unique to him. Scott Nelson, an investigative journalist using a pseudonym to protect his identity, uses a series of Podcasts to interview people who were somehow involved in an investigation into a mysterious death or murder – in this case that became known as the Macleod Massacre, involving the brutal murders of several members of one family by one of the family members Arla Macleod aged 21, now confined in a secure institution.
Scott Nelson interviews five people who knew her at various stages throughout her life, each giving their own thoughts and opinions about Arla.
Arla herself is allowed to be interviewed bringing the total up to six podcasts.
The author Matt Wesolowski illustrates perfectly here how individuals can be viewed in an entirely different way, according to whoever is describing them. Sometimes according to how the witness’s want people or even themselves to be perceived.
The stories themselves, including Arla’s, become creepier and more disturbing, leaving the reader wanting to know more and more. The accounts appear to show that Arla had a difficult upbringing, was apparently disturbed, perhaps mentally ill and was thought to have been for some time.
In Arla’s own account she mentions black-eyed children appearing at critical times throughout her life (Also disturbingly black-eyed children have been mentioned in stories on the internet as a common phenomenon)
Are the black-eyed children a psychotic manifestation of whatever mental illness Arla is believed to be suffering from? Or are they part of something more sinister? We, the readers are left wondering what is real and what isn’t. What were the events leading up to that day? What exactly happened on the day of the massacre?
To complicate matters further and add a worrying turn to the suspense, ‘Scott’ starts to have threats made against him personally.
Why are they trying to silence him? Who is behind them and what part did they have to play in the events?
The denouement at the end I did not see coming but I was on the edge of my seat by this time too scared to want to know the truth, but at the same time desperate to find out what really happened.
Addictive, absorbing, scary as hell, edge of the seat reading.
About The author
Matt Wesolowski is an author from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the UK. He is an English tutor for children in care and leads Cuckoo Young Writers creative writing workshops for young people in association with New Writing North.
Wesolowski started his writing career in horror and his short horror fiction has been published in numerous magazines and US anthologies.
Wesolowski was a winner of the Pitch Perfect competition at ‘Bloody Scotland’; Crime Writing Festival 2015 and his short crime story ‘Tulpa’ was subsequently published in the Northern Crime One’ anthology (Moth Publishing 2015). His debut crime novel ‘Six Stories’ will be available through Orenda Books in the spring of 2017
You can follow Matt on twitter @concretekraken and his blog can be found at:
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