You can’t imagine my pleasure today. I am all in for a treat. And you are, too!!
This review of Hydra is my unbiased thank you to Karen Sullivan, Anne Cater, and the #TeamOrenda!
Author: Matt Wesolowski
Publisher: Orenda Books
Date of publication: 2018
Number of pages: 258
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.
Breaking News: Matt Wesolowski does it again!
This is a special review-podcast to let the world know a massive wave has hit the literature world. Its name is Hydra.
When Matt Wesoloski disturbed the usual narration format with Six Stories, I was seduced. Originality, a strong writing, a tricky and gripping plot, everything was here to make the book a best seller. (See my raving review here!)
This is why I agreed to review Hydra without a second thought, and without reading the synopsis! Had I read it and known the format would be the same, maybe my pleasure would have been impacted.
But I set foot in Hydra’s world free of any expectations except for being transported into another reality for a few hours.
Be careful when you open Hydra! The author inserts powerful human voices in your head, and they tell stories you might not want to hear at night! I never felt I was reading Hydra. I was listening to it! The magic happened once again. Written words simply spring out of the page and melodiously whisper into your ears to tell the tale of a horrendous family tragedy.
Yet, when you feel comfortable – as comfortable you can be hearing about bloody and messy murders, of course – you are thrown into another layer of the book. While you learn about Arla Macleod’s fate in a detached way that feels a lot like voyeurism and a cold interest for awful news stories, a thin but strong thread of plot links you to Scott King and the very real and pending danger he finds himself in. I cannot possibly say which part I like better as both are equally important and most importantly, equally haunting.
Matt Wesolowski’s sharp pen makes you climb into a cold bath of nightmares, when your toe realizes the water is freezing, it’s too late, you’re in, you can’t take your eyes and ears of the pages and the story. I held my breath as I felt my thoughts switch from the Macleod’s analysis to Scott’s present. It felt right to get to know him through his own way of expressing himself and to get a glimpse of the outside. Creepy, lonely, completely addicting! I found Hydra to benefit from a faster pace, probably due to the dual and parallel storylines, and I am utterly impressed that the author managed to surprise me again.
Matt Wesolowski turned what had been a wonderfully chilling original format into another unforgettable story, deeper, more personal, and simply unputdownable!
Please please, go check every stop on this tour, you won’t be disappointed!
I was lucky to have Matt share 5 things about him last year as part of my Orenda Books month, so here it is, along with a biography! Enjoy!
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..