I post book reviews as often as possible but at least once a week every Wednesday! I hope they help you to find some new books that you'll love as much as I did!
Today is my stop on the blog tour for End Game by Matt Johnson and I've got a guest post from the man himself! Thanks to Anne for organising the tour and don't forget to check out the other stops!
Robert Finlay seems to have finally left his SAS past behind him and is settled into his new career as a detective. But when the girlfriend of his former SAS colleague and close friend Kevin Jones is murdered, it’s clear that Finlay’s troubles are far from over. Jones is arrested for the killing, but soon escapes from jail, and Finlay is held responsible for the breakout. Suspended from duty and sure he’s being framed too, our hero teams up with MI5 agent Toni Fellowes to find out who’s behind the conspiracy. Their quest soon reveals a plot that goes to the very heart of the UK’s security services. End Game, the final part in the critically acclaimed Robert Finlay trilogy, sees our hero in an intricately plotted and terrifyingly fast-paced race to uncover the truth and escape those who’d sooner have him dead than be exposed.
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My Three Favourite Reads - Matt Johnson
I wasn’t an avid reader during my Army and Policing service. I used to find time to enjoy a few research works and some interesting biographies, but the time to relax and enjoy a novel tended to be restricted to holidays.
As a result, I tend to be quite picky, and I’m also inclined to be careful before I commit to a particular book or author. That said, there are a few books I’ve read over the years that have appealed to me and which I see very little reference to as a favoured choice of writers.
My first selection is The Stranger by Albert Camus.
Camus was a senior member of the French Resistance in WWII and, at that time, edited the underground newspaper ‘Combat’. Originally entitled L’Etranger, it was the English translation that I read. It’s not a long book, easily read in a weekend, and the story itself is rather simple. But the glimpses into the thoughts, intellect and feelings of the protagonist bring a magical quality to the writing. It’s a novel that taught me much about effective story telling.
My second choice is The Choirboys by Joseph Wambaugh.
In terms of style and genre, this might be as far distant from my first choice as you can go, except that we stay with the crime theme. I was a serving cop when I read this novel, something that certainly added to my enjoyment of it. The Choirboys is the story of a group of night-shift LA cops who spend their post-shift, pre-dawn hours in MacArthur Park enjoying ‘choir practice’ a past-time that involves a lot of alcohol and risk-taking. There is a very dark reality to this story where the group handle not only the dangers of their job, but also the fall out from their chosen style of relaxation. It is chillingly authentic and, again, was very influential on me when I started to write.
My final choice is a tough one as I’ve enjoyed many books by the likes of Peter James, Lee Child and James Patterson. Recently I’ve loved Amanda Jennings psychological thrillers, But I’ve been asked to pick three that are not, perhaps, in receipt of the kind of modern-day recognition that they deserve. I think of the many books that have influenced me, not the least of which was The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, but all that came to mind are both well-known and praised.
So, in seeking a lesser-known work, I have chosen -
Harry’s Game by Gerald Seymour.
This tough and gritty portrayal of undercover anti-terrorist work in Northern Ireland at the height of the troubles set, to my mind, a new direction and standard for this kind of thriller. As with The Choirboys, the content of this story was the subject of my personal ‘authenticity’ test and it passed with flying colours. Although I read it years ago, I still have it near my desk and, from time to time, I dip into it for a few moments of quality distraction.
About the Author
Matt Johnson served as a soldier and Metropolitan Police officer for twenty- five years. Blown off his feet at the London Baltic Exchange bombing in 1993, and one of the first police officers on the scene of the 1982 Regent’s Park bombing, Matt was also at the Libyan People’s Bureau shooting in 1984 where he escorted his mortally wounded friend and colleague, Yvonne Fletcher, to hospital. Hidden wounds took their toll. In 1999, Matt was discharged from the police with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. While undergoing treatment, he was encouraged by his counsellor to write about his career and his experience of murders, shootings and terrorism. One evening, Matt sat at his computer and started to weave these notes into a work of fiction that he described as having a tremendously cathartic effect on his own condition. His bestselling thriller, Wicked Game, which was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey Dagger, was the result. Deadly Game and now End Game, the final book in the Robert Finaly series, once again draws on Matt’s experiences and drips with the same raw authenticity of its predecessor.
Today's my stop on the Blog Tour for Bring Me Back by BA Paris! I'm so excited to finally be able to share my review for this fantastic book and I'm honoured to be part of the tour!
Make sure to check out the other stops too!
Twelve years ago Finn’s girlfriend disappeared.
He told the police the truth about that night.
Just not quite the whole truth.
Now Finn has moved on.
But his past won’t stay buried…
Firstly, I can 100% confirm that you can forget sleep when you're reading this book! I lost more hours of sleep reading than I dare to count! (And yes, some of those hours were spent gazing at the beautiful cover)
At just five pages in I was already hooked.
I started reading intending on a chapter or two before bed and before I knew it I'd read more than 50 pages! Such skilled writing made it impossible to stop reading and the very next day I polished it off in one sitting.
The chapters are short but riveting and I particularly enjoyed the alternating perspectives.
It's emotional, tense and unsettling but absolutely mesmerising. It really did leave me speechless and worrying that I wouldn't be able to do it justice in my review! The phrase that keeps coming to mind is simply 'Flipping fantastic!!' I honestly think that's the best way to describe it.
It finishes with an almighty twist which never in a million years would have crossed my mind.
It's a haunting end, right up to the very last line and I was thinking about the ending way after I closed the book. What a masterful novel. Overall, I'm giving Bring Me Back 5 out of 5 and of course, adding it to my five star favourites shelf. It's my first five star read of 2018 and more than deserving of those stars. It's riveting, evocative and quite honestly, breathtaking.
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This book was provided for free in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author
B A Paris is the internationally bestselling author of Behind Closed Doors and The Breakdown. Having sold over one million copies in the UK alone, she is a New York Times bestseller as well as a number one bestseller on Amazon and iBooks. Her books have sold in 37 territories around the world. Having lived in France for many years, she recently moved back to the UK. She has five daughters.
Today I'm posting a review and an extract for my stop on the blog tour for My Mother the Liar by Ann Troup. Don't forget to check out the other stops too!
Every family has a secret…
From the author of The Lost Child, and The Forgotten Room. Perfect for fans of The Secret Mother and Linda Green.
Two dead bodies. A lifetime of secrets.
When Rachel Porter’s estranged mother dies, she returns to her family home filled with dread about having to face her past, and the people who populated it.
Little does she know that there are dead bodies waiting to be discovered, and a lifetime of secrets are about to unravel.
Secrets kept by her mother, the liar.
I'd read a few mixed reviews for this before I started and so when I began reading, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. However, I have to say, I really enjoyed it. Set in what is accurately described as a 'House of Horror', it's a twisty family drama where you never know who to trust, with secrets and lies at every turn.
There were quite a lot of characters to keep track of and at the beginning it took me a little while to work out who was who, but eventually I got used to it and ended up liking the multiple perspectives because I felt that it enabled each character to only reveal what they wanted me to know and to really enhance the unreliable narration.
Once I was used to who was who, the pace started to quicken and by about halfway through, the intrigue had really been ramped up. There were some totally unexpected twists and I was always second guessing everything as I never knew who to trust.
As the book progresses, things get even more twisted and the secrets and lies just keep coming. Possible solutions were racing through my mind as I wondered who to believe and whether anyone was actually telling the truth at all!
As the book drew to a close, finally everything slotted into place and more than once I found myself whispering 'of course!' as the truth was revealed. I thought things were resolved well and it was a fitting ending.
Overall, I'm giving My Mother the Liar 4 out of 5. It's full of intrigue, packed with twists and you'll never know who to trust.
This e-book was provided for free in exchange for an honest review.
Rachel’s mother had been fond of blanket statements that set others indelibly in their places. Proud of her insights into the characters of others, she had set out her children’s traits like a script. As if they were pickles in jars, all three of her daughters had been permanently labelled and preserved by her assertions. Frances was the clever one, Stella was useless, and Rachel was just downright difficult. Did all parents like to define their offspring, leaving their children floundering and typecast? Rachel felt imperfectly moulded by her family, an inconvenient, bit-part player in the sometimes drama that had been her life. It had made her bitter. Now her mother was dead. Valerie was no more and Rachel wasn’t feeling much of anything except antipathy. She would have known about Valerie’s death weeks before, but she’d quietly ignored the first letter from Frances, knowing that it couldn’t contain good news. The Porters didn’t trade in good news. The slanting, deeply etched handwriting on the envelope had said enough: Frances could ooze anger even when writing a simple address. She’d used green ink, which Rachel was inclined to think had been distilled from her sister’s bile. It had taken a second letter containing the expected diatribe of accusations and sour grapes to make Rachel finally take notice. She had already missed the funeral. Frances had been brutal and unforgiving about that. Rightly so in Rachel’s mind –missing your own mother’s funeral was pretty shabby in anyone’s book. Even if your mother was Valerie Porter. She might not have gone back at all if she hadn’t been required to assist with the application for probate. Without that she’d have carried on burying her head in the sand and ignored them all for ever. It was Valerie Porter’s final revenge to force her to go back. When she was sitting on the train, when it was too late to turn back and take refuge again, she allowed herself to think about the consequences of going back. Of what she’d have to face. Who she’d have to face. There were people more dreadful than Frances who populated the past. While the train took her relentlessly towards ‘home’, she pulled out the second letter and reread Frances’s words. ‘ I am patently aware that you still harbour resentment about the past; however, the house is a joint responsibility and whatever grudges you still bear, I feel you should put them aside for once and show a little loyalty,’ Frances’s letter baldly stated. ‘Stella is nowhere to be found and I’ve been left to deal with this alone. You have a legal obligation to carry out Mother’s last wishes at least. I will expect to see you at the soonest opportunity. I shan’t say at your convenience because that would mean waiting forever.' Rachel could imagine the gritted teeth and grim expression that had fuelled those words. It had been a sense of stale guilt and obligation that got her to Paddington Station, plus curiosity and a strange, unpleasant yearning for something she couldn’t define, which had made her get on the train. Since when had Frances ever needed anything from her? With every mile that took her closer to home she felt an increasing sense of apprehension. Given the circumstance of her departure all those years ago, it was bizarre that Frances would contact her at all, let alone request her help–they both knew that there was no love lost between Valerie and Rachel; they hadn’t spoken in years. The only logical conclusion she could draw was that her physical presence was needed to allow the sale of the house because no connection between sisters, or mothers for that matter, would have driven Frances to write otherwise. Given that for most of Rachel’s life, Frances hadn’t been able to bear being in the same room as her for more than a few minutes, there couldn’t be any other reason. Frances wanted the money. Nothing else on earth would have forced her to make contact, not even the truth. That was something none of them could bring themselves to face.
By the time Rachel arrived at the house Frances had already sold everything of any remote value that Valerie hadn’t, and had resorted to burning what was left on a large bonfire in the overgrown garden. Things that couldn’t be burned, like the ancient enamelled cooker that their grandmother had bought in 1959, and the six broken vacuum cleaners that had languished in the attic for years along with numerous other aged and dishevelled domestic items, were to be taken to the local tip by Sid, ‘The Man With A Van’ and his monosyllabic sidekick, Steve. Sid and Steve were cheap, available and discreet. Frances valued discretion and economy above most things–including false sentiment. She showed none of that when greeting her sister, merely offered her a pair of rubber gloves and a black bag and told her to pick a room, any room, and get on with it. Rachel received a warmer welcome from Sid. The amiable Sid explained that he and Steve had been at the house for days, repeatedly loading the van and making trips to the local landfill site as Frances steadily forced the large old house to disgorge its contents and bare its mouldering soul. Rachel arrived with barely enough time to salvage Stella’s meagre belongings from the purge, and only just managed to stop Steve feeding yet another box of books onto Frances’s pyre. They were Stella’s books, children’s classics that Stella had kept from her own childhood and had read to Rachel during hers. Frances argued that if Stella had wanted the books she would have taken them with her; Rachel shrugged and said that she was keeping them anyway. One of the rare pleasures of her childhood had been listening to Stella read those stories, so even if Stella didn’t want them, she did. Besides, monstrous though Frances could be, what kind of person could burn books? Frances had been so eager to clear the house that she hadn’t really left much that Rachel could do, except stand by and wonder at her sister’s vigorous enthusiasm for incinerating every last stick the house had ever contained. It felt as if she were only there to witness the destruction. It was Frances’s way of punishing her, she supposed. ‘I’ve spent too many years being oppressed by all this junk!’ Frances yelled above the crackling bonfire, eyes blazing as bright as the fire as she watched the flames consume yet another chunk of their past. ‘It’s liberating, don’t you think?’ Sid, standing next to Rachel, shook his head and said, ‘I dunno, seems a shame really–could have got a few quid for some of that stuff on eBay. Sacrilege,’ he added, bemused. He looked back at the house. ‘Must really have been something in its day. They don’t build them like that any more.’ Rachel followed his gaze and looked back at the mock Tudor sprawl she’d once known as home. ‘Probably,’ she said, her voice dull. Not that she could ever remember it being anything other than dark, damp, cold and gloomy. By the time she’d been born, The Limes was already suffering from serious neglect. Valerie had been too mean to heat the rooms they didn’t use and mildew had taken hold, running riot over the walls. The negligence had been an open invitation for rot and decay to come on in and have a ball. Even in winter it had sometimes been warmer outside than in –a childhood full of blue noses, chilblains and chipping the ice from the taps had left its mark on Rachel. She still couldn’t bear the cold. The house had eight bedrooms. In Rachel’s memory only four had ever been regularly used. Of the four bathrooms, they had all shared one, and out of the study, drawing room, morning room and reception room, they had only ever used the morning room as it was close to the kitchen and easier to heat. The attics and cellars had been no-go zones for so long that she had almost forgotten they existed other than as repositories for the things Valerie had been too lazy to throw away. As far as Rachel was concerned, The Limes was a mausoleum that housed a bitter past. If it had ever had a heyday it was so far back in the mists of time she would have to squint to imagine it. Much in the way that she needed to squint at Frances through the billowing smoke. She was prodding the fire with the end of a garden hoe, her eyes glinting and flickering with reflected flames, making her look like a reject from the legions of hell. The fire had brought out a demonic glee that made Rachel instinctively shudder despite the heat that rolled across the neglected lawn. ‘Right, that’s going nicely,’ Frances called. ‘Stephen, you come with me and we’ll tackle the outbuildings and, Sidney, you can go with Rachel and make sure there’s nothing of value left inside.’ A brief flicker of panic crossed Steve’s face as he looked at Sid. Sid had quietly confided to Rachel that both men had fallen foul of Frances’s imperious temper over the past few days and it was considered the short straw if one of them had to work alongside her. ‘Come on, chop chop!’ she shouted, clapping her hands as if Steve was a refractory Pekingese. Rachel watched them go. ‘I suppose we’d better follow orders,’ she said to Sid, preparing herself to go back into the near-naked house. Free of its clutter, the house was even more cavernous than she remembered, all its strident objections to old age and infirmity amplified by the lack of furnishings. With nothing to soak up the sound and attract the eye, it looked bare and ashamed of itself. Rachel almost felt sorry for it. Nobody loved it, and she couldn’t remember anybody ever having been happy there. As a home its heart had been hollowed out by acrimony and now it was being finished off by arch indifference. She and Sid ascended the stairs, the bare treads creaking in protest now that they had been stripped of carpet. They checked the bedrooms, finding them damp and empty, until they entered Valerie’s room. Their mother’s room had always been sacrosanct, an oasis of calm and solitude that Valerie had often retreated to–usually complaining of a headache and clutching a medicinal bottle of sherry. Rachel couldn’t recall ever having been allowed inside, and it surprised her that she’d never thought it strange before that moment. Now only a few black sacks stood against the wall ready for Sid’s next run to the tip. This first and final ingress into her mother’s secret chamber –the room that had been the inner sanctum, the room that had been the container of Valerie’s personal misery –was a frank disappointment for Rachel. As a child, she had often spied by squinting through the keyhole like a woebegone urchin, imagining that beyond the locked door lay another realm. The wardrobe in the corner might have been the entrance to another dimension, where Valerie existed differently and found the peace she had so often demanded before shutting the door against the needs of her family. Although, in Rachel’s imagination the White Witch had always had much more of a resemblance to Valerie than had been entirely comfortable. Stella’s books had stirred some lonely and uncomfortable memories. Though Valerie’s presence still echoed in the hollow room, Rachel could not for the life of her imagine what peace of mind her mother had ever found from lying on the bed staring drunkenly at the blowsy roses scrambling across the wallpaper beneath the dust and cobwebs. Those keyhole-shaped memories had suggested something exotically different from the chilly, mildewed reality she now faced. The only piece of furniture not yet consigned to the tip, or dispatched to be consumed by the flames of Frances’s blaze, was the wardrobe. Rachel walked over to it and touched its mirrored door, which opened with an ominous creak. She gave it a wry smile, unsurprised that it wasn’t filled with fur coats and melting snow after all. ‘She said I could have that,’ Sid said, apparently afraid that Rachel might condemn it to the fire. ‘I was saving it for when we finished. That way I can put it on the van and take it straight home.’ The faintest aroma of mothballs belched out as she shut the door. ‘I’ll lock it so it’ll be easier to move. You should hang on to the key. They’re always better when they still have their keys.’ The door was a little warped, and she had to shove it hard to make it fit properly, promptly dislodging the prized key in the process. ‘Bugger!’ she said. The key had bounced on the bare floorboards and hidden itself underneath the wardrobe. On hands and knees, Rachel peered into the murky spider graveyard that lay beneath.‘I can’t see it . We’ll have to pull the bloody thing out.’ Sid obliged, and together they coaxed it into a reluctant slide across the wooden boards. As Rachel bent to retrieve the key, something prodded at the edges of her awareness. ‘I didn’t know that was there,’ she murmured, standing up and looking at a door that had been hidden from view. ‘Built-in cupboard,’ Sid pronounced knowledgably. ‘What d’you need a wardrobe for if there’s a built-in cupboard?’ Rachel shrugged. ‘More junk for you to get rid of I expect,’ she said, prising open the cupboard door and cringing as the hinges squealed in protest. The cupboard was surprisingly empty given the rubbish that had always cluttered the rest of the house. A faint flurry of fetid air wafted into their faces as they peered into its dark recesses. On the lone shelf, there stood a biscuit tin and on the floor stood a metal box. Rachel took down the biscuit tin and levered off the lid. Various bits of paper and old photographs nestled there–mostly showing Frances as a young child. The papers proved to be old school reports, all describing Frances’s attributes in glowing terms. Rachel couldn’t recall Valerie keeping a record of either her or Stella’s school records –though Frances probably would have burnt them if she had. As Rachel rifled through, it occurred to her that she had never seen a photograph of herself as a child anywhere in the house. Probably because there weren’t any to see. Under the photographs was a small red book: the type that had a tiny lock. She took it and the photographs and stuffed them into her back pocket. Maybe Frances would want them, maybe not. The rest she put back in the tin and threw the whole thing into one of the black sacks that flanked the room. Sid grabbed the metal box. ‘Bloody hell, this is heavy. Hey, perhaps we’ve found the family jewels!’ he quipped. Rachel responded with a sardonic smile. The box was little bigger than a bread bin but looked like it weighed a ton. Sid placed it at Rachel’s feet, grunting with the effort. ‘Want to do the honours?’ he asked. She shook her head, watching as Sid attempted to release the lid. Though the metal had been galvanised, some substance had affected it, causing rust to scab the edges and eat into the structure. Sid took out a Swiss Army knife and used the screwdriver bit as a lever, giving a satisfied grunt as the orange crust gave way. He lifted the lid, revealing the contents. ‘It’s full of sand,’ he said, puzzled. ‘Sand?’ ‘Hang on, there’s something poking out of it .’ He tugged, dislodging a torrent of dry, gritty matter as the object shifted. It was some kind of parcel, wrapped in dirty cloth. Sid unwound the material, causing more sand and grit to fall and litter the floor as each layer of fabric came away and disintegrated in his hands. ‘What is it?’ Rachel asked, peering over his shoulder at what appeared to be some type of shrivelled, leathery doll. Sid didn’t speak. His skin had turned a ghastly shade of grey and all Rachel could see as she peered at his stricken face was his Adam’s apple bobbing up and down like a fishing float as he fought for the words to describe the thing that was now lying on the floor.
Frances’s scream was so piercing it rattled the glass in the rotten window frames, buffeting Rachel’s eardrums and snapping Sid out of his shocked stupor as effectively as if it had taken tangible form and slapped him in the face. Once the sound receded, everything became horribly quiet as if there had been a sudden solar eclipse and the birds had stopped singing in deference to the dark. Time became elastic as seconds extended themselves into blurry, suspended pockets of disbelieving minutes. Sid’s mobile phone began to ring , the tinny, incongruent tones of ‘My Way’ shattering the silence and stirring him into action. When he finally answered the thing after fumbling for it in every pocket, Rachel could hear Steve’s high-pitched voice. With escalating panic, he told Sid about the scene outside. Rachel doubted that Steve had ever uttered so many words in one hit before. Which was probably why he sounded confused. She could have sworn she heard him say that they’d found a dead body in the shed.
Today is my stop on the Killed blog tour! (Along with the wonderful Keeper of Pages)
Thank you to Anne for organising the tour.
Don't forget to check out the other stops!
Crime reporter Henning Juul thought his life was over when his young son was murdered. But that was only the beginning...
Determined to find his son’s killer, Henning doggedly follows an increasingly dangerous trail, where dark hands from the past emerge to threaten everything. His ex-wife Nora is pregnant with another man’s child, his sister Trine is implicated in the fire that killed his son and, with everyone he thought he could trust seemingly hiding something, Henning has nothing to lose ... except his own life. Packed with tension and unexpected twists, Killed is the long-awaited finale of one of the darkest, most chilling and emotive series you may ever read. Someone will be killed. But who?
Starting this series from the very last book, I was a little worried I'd struggle to understand what was going on. While there's a very wide range of characters and the story is told from a variety of perspectives, there's a 'Cast of Characters' list at the beginning which was really useful to flick back to if I needed it and it meant that despite the fact I hadn't read the previous books, I managed to keep up with who was who. Although I'd recommend you read the books in order to get the full effect, I felt that the author ensures that everyone reading is up to speed, so whether you haven't read previous books or it's just been a while since the last, you'll understand what's happening perfectly.
While for most people what I'm sure is one of their favourite series is coming to an end, I'm in quite a lucky position in that now I can go right back to the start and enjoy all of the books from the beginning! (Even if I'm sort of cheating by knowing the ending!) So I'll be remedying the fact that I haven't read the rest of the series as quickly as possible!
I was drawn in straight away from the prologue and once I'd read that, there was no getting me to stop reading! This continued throughout the book and I constantly wanted to read on! It's full of tension and left me on edge at the end of each chapter!
What I loved most about Killed is the brilliant setting and descriptions. There's fantastic imagery and it transported me right into the book.
I really liked the ending. I thought it was perfect for the book and it left me gripped with unexpected events right until the very end.
Overall, I'm giving Killed 4.5 out of 5. It's tense, gripping and thoroughly satisfying. I can't wait to go back and start the rest of the series!
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This e-book was provided for free in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author
Thomas Enger (b. 1973) is a former journalist. He made his debut with the crime novel Burned (Skinndød) in 2010, which became an international sensation before publication. Burned is the first in a series of 5 books about the journalist Henning Juul, which delves into the depths of Oslo’s underbelly, skewering the corridors of dirty politics and nailing the fast-moving world of 24-hour news. Rights to the series have been sold to 26 countries to date. In 2013 Enger published his first book for young adults, a dark fantasy thriller called The Evil Legacy, for which he won the U-prize (best book Young Adult). Enger also composes music, and he lives in Oslo.
Today is my stop on the blog tour for Hydra by Matt Wesolowski! It's a brilliant book so I'm delighted to be involved! Thank you so much to Anne for organising the tour and Orenda Books for my copy of the book. Don't forget to check out the rest of the stops on the tour!
A family massacre. A deluded murderess. Five witnesses. Six Stories. Which one is true?
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.
Hydra has a highly original style and concept which is bang up to date and makes it stand out from all of the other thrillers on the market. I absolutely love the idea and it's so well executed that reading it becomes almost addictive.
It's part of the 'Six Stories' series but you don't need to have read Six Stories in order to enjoy this book. (Although it's fantastic so I would highly recommend reading it too! My review for that is here)
The speech is realistic and natural and the characters have an instantly recognisable voice, coming to life just through the way their individual voices are portrayed. It feels as though you can actually hear them speaking.
I really liked how different medias, such as newspaper reports and extracts of radio broadcasts, are used to present information. It added an extra dimension to the story and was much more engaging than just being told about it from a character.
Wesolowski writes with such skill and manages to take the tiniest details, like a 'shuffling noise', and turn them into something that made my heart stop. I found myself constantly thinking about how clever the writing was and the great attention to detail that is present in the book.
The plot is tense, gripping and extremely chilling, there are some parts that I definitely wouldn't recommend reading at night!
It's full of shocks and just when I thought I had it all figured out, Wesolowski managed to surprise me again! Once I finally found out who was behind things, it made so much sense, but I never in a million years would've guessed it! Even though looking back, it was staring me in the face, Wesolowski's expert writing kept me on my toes and diverted my attention to other places.
The harrowing and thought-provoking ending was the perfect way to finish this unique and memorable book.
Overall, I'm giving Hydra 4.5 out of 5. It's highly original, completely engaging and full of suspense. I sincerely hope there will be more to come from the Six Stories series.
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This book was provided for free in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author
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.
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