Today I’m really pleased to be hosting the next stop on the Six Stories blog tour, penned by Matt Wesolowski and published by Orenda Books.
1997. Scarclaw Fell. The body of teenager Tom Jeffries is found at an outward bound centre. Verdict? Misadventure. But not everyone is convinced. And the truth of what happened in the beautiful but eerie fell is locked in the memories of the tight-knit group of friends who took that fateful trip, and the flimsy testimony of those living nearby.
2017. Enter elusive investigative journalist Scott King, whose podcast examinations of complicated cases have rivalled the success of Serial, with his concealed identity making him a cult internet figure.
In a series of six interviews, King attempts to work out how the dynamics of a group of idle teenagers conspired with the sinister legends surrounding the fell to result in Jeffries’ mysterious death. And who’s to blame… As every interview unveils a new revelation, you’ll be forced to work out for yourself how Tom Jeffries died, and who is telling the truth.
The concept of this novel is brilliant; it is broken up into a series of Podcast episodes very much like the popular Podcast series ‘Serial.’ In Six Stories, a masked reporter Scott King delves into ‘cold’ criminal cases and re-investigates the evidence by interviewing key witnesses – allowing the ‘listener’ or in this case the reader to make their own conclusions. In this novel each episode features a new character’s voice and at the end of each episode it features the point of view of Henry Saint Clement-Ramsey who found the body of Tom Jeffries – a year after he had disappeared.
Oh my, I’m not sure how to describe my thoughts about this book and do it justice. It just stole my breath and blew my mind!
I am a big fan of Serial so I couldn’t wait to read this novel! One of the things I loved about the Podcast, Serial was the way the narrator brings each voice to life which I felt the author, Matt, pulled off and brought to this story – by ensuring the main protagonist stepped back and allowed the story to slowly trickle through all six stories, while revealing another layer of the mystery with each episode or rather chapter.
The mystery surrounding the disappearance and potential murder of Tom Jeffries was brilliant and captivated me from the very beginning. I loved learning about all the little ticks and troubled past of each character which they were clearly hiding from Scott and the reader.
One of the best things about this novel is the setting – Scarclaw Fell. This setting for me was both atmospheric and very creepy which through the descriptions and the characters thoughts and actions really unsettled me as the reader (which I loved and must admit kind of freaked me out).
The narrative also, slowly builds tension and really picked up the pace towards the end – which incidentally the ending – I just didn’t see some of that coming which just threw me!
This novel just packs a punch and is such an original and refreshing read, where the main protagonist takes a back sit and allows the reader to come to their own conclusions about what exactly happened to Tom Jeffries. I absolutely loved this and cannot recommend this highly enough: it is a must read for all crime fans!
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’ is available through Orenda Books from the spring of 2017.
Big thanks to Orenda Books for my review copy.
To buy this on Amazon click here.
To buy this on Waterstones click here.
To find out more about Matt Wesolowski follow him on Twitter at @.
Don’t forget to check out all the other fabulous stop on this tour!