Welcome to my spot on the blog tour today! I’m thrilled to share my review of this wonderful book!
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.
In 2014 twenty one-year-old Arla Macleod murders her entire family. Bludgeoned to a pulp, their lives come to an abrupt and horrific end. Arla is sentenced with manslauter, with diminished responsibility and sent to a secure unit. Case closed. But when Scott King begins to pick over the bones of what is known as the ‘Macleod Massacre’ new and frightening details arise from the unnerving folds of Arla’s past. Said to be suffering from psychosis at the time of the grisly attack, what interests Scott is what lead up to the sudden bout of violence, what horror laid dormant in Arla’s past, what tragic event induced this psychotic break and grew a killer. With five pears of eyes that offer their opinions and observations on Arla, Scott burrows deep into the past, scouring the minute details of her life, from her childhood to present day, in a bid to shed some light on that day in 2014. But when he begins to receive nefarious threats, this case becomes much more personal.
When reading Matt Wesolowski’s books, a subtle, almost imperceptible frisson of fear slips through your radar and before you know it you’re sitting up in bed, unable to sleep, images of those black-eyed-kids inevitably roaming rampant through your mind. Lock the doors, switch on the lights, beware the smallest sound because it could be the tap-tap-taping on the window, it could be the black-eyed-kids asking to be let in. That’s just how unnerving this book is. But oh my goodness, what a book it is! I could not bear to tear my eyes from the pages. You just have to know! What comes next? What’s around the corner? Who will it be? What are you about to discover? Addictive. Terrifying. Shocking. A book that will give you an extreme case of the shivers.
Although he remains a bit of an enigma, facets of Scott King we know of continue to enthrall. Repeatedly he says that his podcasts are not about him, he is simply a facilitator to the public’s discussion. His anonymity is crucial to his way of life and he is not going to waiver his grasp on it. And yet, I find him fascinating as a character. I really hope we discover more about him in the future. His podcasts make the book feel so real – it was almost as if I was about to start hearing about Arla on the news. Turn on the radio and there she would be, the presenters discussing her case! Hydra really gets under your skin. Addictive doesn’t seem to cover it!
Matt Wesolowski’s writing is haunting, chilling and enrapturing. I adored Six Stories – from the first sentence – I could feel in my gut it was going to be exceptional! And the same goes for this incredible book! As long as Matt is writing books, I’ll be reading them!
Chilling. Beguiling. Mystifying.
If you would like to read Hydra, here is the Amazon link!
About The Author:
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
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Huge thanks to Karen and Anne and for my review copy and for including me in the blog tour!