The Bookvent Calendar 2019: Day 15

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#Bookvent – Celebrating my top reads of 2019

Day fifteen in my #bookvent countdown sees me shouting out for the first of my #redhotreads from 2019 – the very best of the best books I have read and automatic qualifier for the #bookvent charts. The books are featuring in no order other than pretty much publication date, apart from my top three reads of the year.

This particular book is book 3 in a series which is still as unique and creepy now as it was when the first book was released two years ago. Other author’s may have since released books in a similar styling, but it’s fair to say that this was the original and the one which has really captured my imagination. Taking a story which blends a mystery, a podcast, and a sense of the unknown, the author has created a series which is dark, creepy and pretty bloody fabulous. My day fifteen bookvent choice is:

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Changeling by Matt Wesolowski

A missing child
A family in denial
Six witnesses
Six stories
Which one is true?


On Christmas Eve in 1988, seven-year-old Alfie Marsden vanished in the dark Wentshire Forest Pass, when his father, Sorrel, stopped the car to investigate a mysterious knocking sound. No trace of the child, nor his remains, have ever been found. Alfie Marsden was declared officially dead in 1995.

Elusive online journalist, Scott King, whose ‘Six Stories’ podcasts have become an internet sensation, investigates the disappearance, interviewing six witnesses, including Sorrel and his ex-partner, to try to find out what really happened that fateful night. Journeying through the trees of the Wentshire Forest – a place synonymous with strange sightings, and tales of hidden folk who dwell there, he talks to a company that tried and failed to build a development in the forest, and a psychic who claims to know what happened to the little boy…

Intensely dark, deeply chilling and searingly thought provoking, Changeling is an up-to-the-minute, startling thriller, taking you to places you will never, ever forget.

Available from: Amazon | Kobo | Waterstones | Googleplay | Apple Books
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It really is no wonder that this book has been short and longlisted for so many awards this year, or that the series has received such critical acclaim as it really is absolutely superb. As chilling as it is mysterious, each of the books takes readers on a journey from the start to (in most parts) not quite the end, allowing them to make up their own mind about what has happened to bring about current events. In this case, podcaster Scott King does find a resolution to the mystery of what happened to Alfie Marsden, but it is perhaps not the one he expected when he set out on his reluctant journey into the past. This book is atmospheric and chilling, the backdrop a supposedly haunted wood in which inexplicable goings on are exacerbated by the disappearance of a young boy not far from an ill-fated building project. The setting, although mostly fictional, is, or would be, only just up the road from where I live which adds something to the read for me as I know some of the folklore and legends from the area, and the story fits them perfectly. But is there something unnerving about the whole story, a kind of perfect storm of mild horror and the supernatural, mixed with a brilliantly crafted mystery. And the writing is once again superb, pulling you in as a reader and keeping you completely on edge until the very last page. If you were worried about the Black eyed children, wait until you meet the Wentshire Witch. (Claims that this person may actually have been my mother adopting her other persona are, as yet, unconfirmed.)

You can read my full review here.

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Happy #bookvent reading all

Jen

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