And so it begins … Today we’re sharing the very first of our Year of Orenda posts. Today Mandie is sharing her thoughts on Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski. If you’d like to read my thoughts on the book you can find my old review right here. Throughout January we’ll be sharing all of Mandie’s reviews of the first three Six Stories books, leading up to the paperback release of Beast in February. Before we take a look at Mandie’s thoughts, here’s what the book is all about:
One body.Available from: Amazon | Kobo | Waterstones | Googleplay | Apple Books
Which one is true?
Scarclaw Fell. The body of teenager Tom Jeffries is found at an outward bound centre. Verdict? Misadventure. But not everyone is convinced. And the truth of what happened in the beautiful but eerie fell is locked in the memories of the tight-knit group of friends who embarked on that fateful trip, and the flimsy testimony of those living nearby.
Enter elusive investigative journalist Scott King, whose podcast examinations of complicated cases have rivaled the success of Serial, with his concealed identity making him a cult internet figure. In a series of six interviews, King attempts to work out how the dynamics of a group of idle teenagers conspired with the sinister legends surrounding the fell to result in Jeffries’ mysterious death. And who’s to blame…
As every interview unveils a new revelation, you’ll be forced to work out for yourself how Tom Jeffries died, and who is telling the truth. A chilling, unpredictable and startling thriller, Six Stories is also a classic murder mystery with a modern twist, and a devastating ending.
I will admit that Six Stories had been on my TBR pile for a very long time but everyone I have spoken to has had nothing but good things to say about it. So from this coupled with quite a few “you really must read it” from my sister I decided the best thing to do was to download the audio book so that I could listen to it whilst out walking and boy was it well worth it. It may have also helped that as I listened, I was walking through the woods in my local hills adding to the atmosphere.
Set as a series of podcasts this book automatically stands out as being different. Each chapter is an individual podcast looking at the events surrounding the death of Tom Jeffries at Scarclaw Fell from a different person’s perspective. You get to try to play detective to find out who did it and why.
By the end of the book I found that I had little sympathy for the victim. What comes across is the definite feeling that he was not a nice person. Not that excuses his murder or the burying of his body. Over the course of the podcasts you get to learn about the things the group got up to in the run up to that fateful night and one thing becomes evident – Tom Jeffries was a bit of a bully. I also felt that the group were not being entirely honest about what happened… but I was not sure if that was due to the time that had passed between the murder and when the podcasts were being recorded of if they were ashamed of that time and didn’t want the listener to know everything that happened. The only person you are sure is telling the whole truth is Henry Saint Clement-Ramsey who along with his friends found the body. To add to the mystery of the book you learn of old folk tales of beasts and apparitions that haunt the fell, preying on the unsuspecting people who wander at night.
I have to say that listening to the audio book really brought this story alive for me as unlike most audio books where you have just one narrator, this one had multiple narrators so you really got the feeling you were listening to the pod casts. In fact, I had listened to the first five without realising how far I had got in the book. In my determination to finish the book that I was totally gripped by I switched to my kindle for the final chapter. After being spoilt of having so many different people bringing the characters alive, I found I missed identifying with that final voice for the last podcast and part of me then just wanted to go and sit in my car so I could hear them.
I can honestly say that I absolutely loved this book and would heartily recommend it to anyone who is looking for something just that little bit different from a very exciting author.
About the Author
Matt Wesolowski is an author from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the UK. He is an English tutor for young people in care.
Wesolowski started his writing career in horror and was a winner of the Pitch Perfect competition at ‘Bloody Scotland’; Crime Writing Festival 2015. His subsequent debut crime novel ‘Six Stories’ was published by Orenda Books in the spring of 2016 with follow-up ‘Hydra’ published in the winter of 2017 and ‘Changeling’ in 2018.
‘Six Stories’ has been optioned by a major Hollywood studio and the third book in the series, ‘Changeling’ was longlisted for the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year, 2019 Amazon Publishing Readers’ Award for Best Thriller and Best Independent Voice.
The Six Stories Series: