So thrilled to be on the blog tour for Hydra by Matt Wesolowski today and be sharing my review with you. Hydra is one of the most unique and unsettling books I have read. I thoroughly enjoyed it and can’t wait to read more by this talented author.
Hydra is available in ebook and paperback here.
A family massacre
A deluded murderess
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.
Hydra is a very chilling, eerie and enthralling read. I was hooked from the start by the unusual style of writing and the story which is unlike anything I have read before.
I think what makes this book so effective is how real it feels. It is based in the present day in a non-descript English village that has seen better times. There is always the feeling at the back of your mind whilst you are reading it, that you have heard similar stories before on the news of murders in such towns. The real feeling is further backed up by one of the main characters being a victim of trolling on social media, a very modern crime which makes the book feel like this could happen today to anyone.
The gradual dissecting of the crime case was very intriguing for me and I loved learning about it from all the different viewpoints that were available. I particularly like the psychological analysis and the delving into Arla’s childhood as I have always wondered about why people do murder or commit such violent crimes.
When I first started reading this book I thought Arla was a pretty open and shut case, which made me wonder how the story would work. However as we delve deeper into what happened that night and discover more about the black eyed children you begin to realise there is more to this case then meets the eye. I started to doubt everything I had first believed in and I kept jumping between theories. This was very cleverly done by the author and ensured the book was impossible to put down.
Hydra is a story that sticks with you and gets inside your head. I kept expecting to see the black eyed children appear everywhere and was frightened to look out at the window at night. I know I’m not alone in this as I know from discussions with other readers that they have felt the same. I thought I heard them chattering once too which turned out to be the radio which left me feeling rather foolish.
This is Matt’s second book but the first one I have read though I will look forward to reading Six Stories soon. If you like eerie, chilling thrillers you’ll love this book and even if you don’t think you do, try this book as i don’t think you’ll be disappointed!
Huge thanks to Karen for Orenda books and Anne Cater for my copy of this book and for inviting me onto the blog tour.
About The Author:
Matt Wesolowski is an author from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the UK. He is an English tutor for children in care and leads Cuckoo Young Writers creative writing workshops for young people in association with New Writing North.
Wesolowski started his writing career in horror and his short horror fiction has been published in numerous magazines and US anthologies.
Wesolowski was a winner of the Pitch Perfect competition at ‘Bloody Scotland’; Crime Writing Festival 2015 and his short crime story ‘Tulpa’ was subsequently published in the Northern Crime One’ anthology (Moth Publishing 2015). His debut crime novel ‘Six Stories’ will be available through Orenda Books in the spring of 2017
You can follow Matt on twitter @concretekraken and his blog can be found at https://mjwesolowskiauthor.wordpress.com/
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