I’ve been looking forward to today for soooooooo long! It’s my turn on the blog tour for Changeling by Matt Wesolowski and many thanks to the fabulous Anne Cater and Karen Sullivan for inviting me onto the tour.
About this book…
A missing child
A family in denial
Which one is true?
On Christmas Eve in 1988, seven-year-old Alfie Marsden vanished in the dark Wentshire Forest Pass, when his father, Sorrel, stopped the car to investigate a mysterious knocking sound. No trace of the child, nor his remains, have ever been found. Alfie Marsden was declared officially dead in 1995.
Elusive online journalist, Scott King, whose ‘Six Stories’ podcasts have become an internet sensation, investigates the disappearance, interviewing six witnesses, including Sorrel and his ex-partner, to try to find out what really happened that fateful night. Journeying through the trees of the Wentshire Forest – a place synonymous with strange sightings, and tales of hidden folk who dwell there, he talks to a company that tried and failed to build a development in the forest, and a psychic who claims to know what happened to the little boy…
Intensely dark, deeply chilling and searingly thought provoking, Changeling is an up-to-the-minute, startling thriller, taking you to places you will never, ever forget.
Anyone who knows me knows what an incredible wimp I am when it comes to scary movies and books but that I also have a terrible fear of missing out so just have to put myself through them for some weird and wonderful reason. But at least I can hide behind a cushion for movies-it’s very difficult to read a book that way though! Having read the first two books in the Six Stories series there was no way I wasn’t going to immerse myself in the third and I’m so glad that I did as this is the best one in the series so far! The stylish narrative is a creepy investigative tool that retells the story in such a uniquely inventive way you feel like you’re reading an audiobook! Yes, I know that sounds strange but it really does! You don’t need to have read any of Matts previous books to appreciate Scott King and his Six Stories podcasts but I guarantee you will want to after this engrossing episode.
I’m still having nightmares about the Black Eyed Children from the authors previous book especially after my lovely friend Emma Welton decided to wind me up telling me there had been sightings near to where I live (which is apparently TRUE!!) but now I have some new fiends to terrify me in my nightmares. The “wood-knockers” tale told by Sorrel, father of missing Alfie Marsden, once again scared the actual s**t out of me! And the tapping that seemed to reverberate throughout the narrative also freaked me out! I don’t know how Matt Wesolowski does it but he always seems to dig deep into his readers fears, touching on their common fears and dragging them kicking and screaming to the surface. There can be nothing on this earth worse than losing a child but never, EVER actually knowing what has become of them must be the most heartbreaking side of their loss. But that’s the scenario that Scott chooses to investigate for this episode of Six Stories-the disappearance of Alfie Marsden on Christmas Eve 1988 who was never seen again and has now been declared dead. Six witnesses give their own personal versions of what happened on the lead up to that night and hopefully what they tell him means that Scott can come to a conclusion about what really happened to Alfie.
Matt Wesolowski is a brilliantly talented writer who creates an atmospheric and highly addictive storyline that never fails to connect with the reader. I was drawn into the mystery of what happened to Alfie immediately, my scientific brain trying to overlook the supernatural elements and search for a plausible explanation for his disappearance! But then the woods seemed to develop a personality all of their own, becoming pretty much the scariest character in this book and the one that I didn’t want to encounter any more than I had to! As if these books aren’t stalking me enough as it is (I’m not taking it personally, honestly!!) I’m now even more petrified as they have moved to take in Cheshire, an area that I know quite well. The scenes that took place in the fictional Wentworth Forest were definitely some of the most petrifying of the series so far and I’m convinced that the “bad piggy” will also be making himself known in my dreams tonight!
Changeling has been one of the best books I’ve read this month and is one that I can’t recommend highly enough! It’s just so beautifully creative and spellbinding that you will want to devour it in one session. And I have to say the ending is absolute perfection. If you’re looking for something unique in your thrillers then you just have to read this book-you can thank me later (or maybe not, if those wood-knockers start tapping on your windows!). Just brilliant!
Meet the author…
Matt Wesolowski is an author 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- an US-based anthologies such as Midnight Movie Creature, 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. Hydra, was published in 2018 and became an international bestseller.
Follow Matt on Twitter @ConcreteKraken and on his website: mjwesolowskiauthor.wordpress.com