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 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.
The above is an affiliate link.
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.
Click here to visit my trusted affiliate partner.