Beast by Matt Wesolowski @OrendaBooks @annecater

Today I’m delighted to be on the blog tour for Beast by Matt Wesolowski. Huge thanks to Anne Cater and Karen Sullivan for my blog tour invite and my review copy of the book.

The book

Elusive online journalist Scott King examines the chilling case of a young vlogger found frozen to death in the legendary local ‘vampire tower’, in another explosive episode of Six Stories…

In the wake of the ‘Beast from the East’ cold snap that ravaged the UK in 2018, a grisly discovery was made in a ruin on the Northumbrian coast. Twenty-four-year-old Vlogger, Elizabeth Barton, had been barricaded inside what locals refer to as ‘The Vampire Tower’, where she was later found frozen to death.

Three young men, part of an alleged ‘cult’, were convicted of this terrible crime, which they described as a ‘prank gone wrong’
However, in the small town of Ergarth, questions have been raised about the nature of Elizabeth Barton’s death and whether the three convicted youths were even responsible.

Elusive online journalist Scott King speaks to six witnesses – people who knew both the victim and the three killers – to peer beneath the surface of the case. He uncovers whispers of a shocking online craze that held the young of Ergarth in its thrall and drove them to escalate a series of pranks in the name of internet fame. He hears of an abattoir on the edge of town, which held more than simple slaughter behind its walls, the tragic and chilling legend of the ‘Ergarth Vampire… 

Both a compulsive, taut and terrifying thriller, and a bleak and distressing look at modern society’s desperation for attention, Beast will unveil a darkness from which you may never return…

My review

I have loved this series from the start and Beast has been one of my most highly anticipated books of 2020! These books are very special indeed as I’m a bit of a wimp when it comes to scary stuff but there is no way I wouldn’t read the Six Stories books even though they always scare the bejesus out of me! And Beast is no exception, leaving me feeling chilled to the bone throughout as Scott King investigates another horrific case for his Six Stories podcast.

When the Beast from the East struck back in 2018, a young girls body was found in a local landmark known as “The Vampire Tower”. But her death had an horrific twist and the three young men convicted of her murder were caught on camera talking about the “prank” they pulled and are all now serving time for murder. But when graffiti appears locally, Scott King speaks to six different witnesses who knew the victim (or those accused of her murder) and some shocking facts are thrown up. Can Scott find out the truth about what happened that night?

The Six Stories are always so perfectly put together you genuinely believe you’re listening to someone trying to solve a real crime. The plot alone felt very current and relevant in this social media obsessed society where influencers and vloggers have an elevated public profile. But do we ever really know that person in front of that camera? And as we discover more about Elizabeth Barton, we realise just how far her influence has truly reached and that others have only ever scratched the surface of these local legends. Scott takes risks with his own safety as he uncovers some terrifying internet crazes. And in a town where the local slaughterhouse plays such a huge part in the lives of those that live there, the local youth population are desperate for something exciting to shake things up and I could almost feel the small town atmosphere where the boredom stirs up a need to escape from the ordinary. And let me tell you that having lived just down the road from the local “meat factory” when I was younger, I totally got where they were coming from-even now I can still remember the smell that emanated every single day from that grey, depressing building and how desperate I was to never have to smell it again…EVER!

Beast is a brilliantly plotted and expertly executed crime novel that stands head and shoulders above the crowd with its unique premise and shocking twists. The last few pages were truly chilling -a perfect ending to this gruesome mystery.

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:

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I am a Norfolk girl living in leafy Cheshire with my grumpy Scotsman. A mum and nana who lives for my family but who is also addicted to reading (and Marmite!) I will read almost anything but my preferred genres to review are psychological thrillers, crime procedural novels or women's fiction. My kindle is my life but I also have a substantial bookshelf in my cosy reading room where I can go to escape the stresses of family life with plenty of tea and chocolate. I am a member of netgalley and bookbridg. I review on Amazon, where I'm a Top 500 reviewer, and Goodreads. You can always find me over on Twitter @jocatrobertson for any review requests.

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