We’re nearing the end of my #bookvent countdown and day twenty-four sees me celebrating the four books which I just adored, so much so that I had a hard job choosing between them to pick my book of the year. But, a bit like Highlander – there can be only one, and that will come later. For now, I’d like to draw your attention to a book which absolutely blew me away when I read it way back at the start of the year. The second book in a rather unique series, this book took a very dark and sinister turn. Based around a series of pod casts investigating true crimes, this story was less whodunnit than why-dunnit. Creepy, inventive and with sublime story telling, my next #bookvent day twenty-four choice is …
by Matt Wesolowski
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 north west of England, 21-year-old Arla Macleod bludgeoned her mother, father 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 Storiespodcasts have become an internet sensation.
King finds himself immersed in an increasingly complex case, interviewing five witnesses and Arla herself, as he questions whether Arla’s responsibility for the massacre was a 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.
I found it so hard to try and explain why I liked this book when I wrote my review that I tried to get creative. I probably still failed to do the book justice but if ever there was a book that inspired me to try to write better and to channel the aspects of storytelling I have always loved, then it was this one. Everything about it just worked. From the creeping menace in the dark, to the skilful way in which Matt Wesolowski explored the troubled mind of young killer, Arla McLeod, this book just made me want to be a better blogger so that I could write a better review. The series is episodic in style, written as a set of six podcasts, and this means you can break it down into a single ‘podcast’ per day if you are so inclined. But I devoured the book, sprinting though it in a day. So – I broke my review down into the reasons why I loved the book. The pacing, the characters, the unique styling, the story, and the inherent darkness. The chilling atmosphere, seemingly channelling Japanese inspired games and urban legends to tell the story of Arla and why she murdered her whole family. It’s hard to say more without giving things away but the story makes your skin crawl, and if you’re of a nervous disposition, you may not want to read with the lights off. And whatever you do, don’t let them in …
If you’d like to read my review of Hydra in full (and you should because I did a whole better job over there of expressing why it’s fabulous), you can find it here. You can purchase a copy of the book from the following retailers:
Happy #bookvent reading all