Today I am pretty darn excited about being on the blog tour for Six Stories today, an unbelievably stunning debut crime novel by Matt Wesolowski.
About this book…
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 embarked on 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. A chilling, unpredictable and startling thriller, Six Stories is also a classic murder mystery with a modern twist, and a devastating ending.
So I was off on my travels to the Orenda Road show at Waterstones in Liverpool and thought what a brilliant idea it would be to read a book by one of the authors who were going to be attending. So whilst on my train journey to Liverpool Lime Street, I got stuck into Six Stories. After a slowish start, where I got used to the whole unique style of the narrative, after about 30 pages I was hooked! Then I stupidly made a comment on the photo of me reading Six Stories that I had posted on Facebook saying “This book is so captivating that I wish I could I could just stay on the train reading it” Cue train in front bringing down a walk and power cables and leaving me stuck on that train and then on a freezing station platform in the middle of nowhere for 2 hours-honestly you couldn’t make it up could you!? And so I spent my evening reading pretty much all of this book but that was no hardship at all to me because it was absolutely AMAZING!
I wasn’t aware of “Serial”, the podcast that had a two series run and topped the iTunes podcast chart but I have since investigated further so I could get a better grasp of where the idea came from. Like “Serial”, Six Stories is a series of podcasts. It is broadcast by Scott King who takes a crime he wants to be reinvestigated by talking to the individuals involved at the time, and then each of those accounts form one of the six podcasts.
I don’t think I have read such an innovative and creative plot in a very long time. This really has such a current feel to it totally unlike anything I’ve read-it does actually come across like a real podcast and so I was totally engrossed in the characters that were being gradually developed as the plot opened up. I wasn’t even interested in trying to work out who or what was responsible for the death of Tom Jeffries, I was just very happy to let Scott King lead me there…..one story at a time. And the last few pages had my jaw firmly dropping on the floor. What a powerful and thought provoking denouement! I just wanted to go back and read the whole book again!
This is a dark, creepily atmospheric and horrifically intense scrutiny of a crime told in an unapologetically contemporary style. It reminded me of the first time I read Into The Woods by Tana French. I got the same goosebumps that told me this was the start of something very special indeed and I can’t wait to read whatever Matt Wesolowski writes next. But can I also just say that NEVER before has a book been so ripe for an audio book adaptation! Bring it on!
Huge thanks to Karen Sullivan for my copy of Six Stories.
Six Stories is published in paperback by Orenda Books on 15th March 2017 and is available to purchase from Amazon UK.
Meet the author…
Matt Wesolowski is an author from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the UK. He is an English tutor and leads Cuckoo Young Writers creative writing workshops for young people in association with New Writing North. Matt started his writing career in horror and his short horror fiction has been published in Ethereal Tales magazine, Midnight Movie Creature Feature anthology, 22 More Quick Shivers anthology and many more. His debut novella The Black Land, a horror set on the Northumberland coast, was published in 2013 and a new novella set in the forests of Sweden will be available shortly. Matt was a winner of the Pitch Perfect competition at Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival in 2015. He is currently working on his second crime novel Ashes, which involves black metal and Icelandic sorcery.