A(nother) Year of Orenda – Deity by Matt Wesolowski

When it comes to the Six Stories series by Matt Wesolowski, one review just really isn’t enough and Mandie has enjoyed the books so much, she wanted to get in on the act too. In case you missed my review, you can find it here. To recap, here’s what it’s all about:

Source: Advance Reader Copy

About the Book

A shamed pop star
A devastating fire
Six witnesses
Six stories
Which one is true?

When pop megastar Zach Crystal dies in a fire at his remote mansion, his mysterious demise rips open the bitter divide between those who adored his music and his endless charity work, and those who viewed him as a despicable predator, who manipulated and abused young and vulnerable girls.

Online journalist, Scott King, whose Six Stories podcasts have become an internet sensation, investigates the accusations of sexual abuse and murder that were levelled at Crystal before he died. But as Scott begins to ask questions and rake over old graves, some startling inconsistencies emerge: Was the fire at Crystal’s remote home really an accident? Are reports of a haunting really true? Why was he never officially charged?

Dark, chillingly topical and deeply thought-provoking, Deity is both an explosive thriller and a startling look at how heroes can fall from grace and why we turn a blind eye to even the most heinous of crimes…

Mandie’s Thoughts

Deity is the 5th book in the Six Stories series and they just keep getting better and better. This time Scott King is investigating the life and death of popstar Zach Crystal. Crystal had quite the following at the time of his death, but he was also involved in some scandalous accusations that if proved would end his career once and for all. Even Scott himself admitted to being one of his fans when he was younger.

Over the course of the six episodes Scott King talks to a fan, a sceptic, a parent, a former associate, a former worker and finally Crystals sister. Each one gave their account of what life was like, and their opinion of the man and the legend. One thing they did all agree on was there was two sides to him and at the height of his fame, he was very reclusive and was protected from the public by some very forceful people. Did these people help to perpetuate some of the stories that were being bandied about?? You will have to read the book to determine this for yourselves.

What I love about the way these books are written is that with each podcast you get another layer to the story. As a reader you are drawn in bit by bit as you play amateur detective trying to work out the truth from the fiction. Whilst each person gives their views and their feelings, it is not until Scott Kings speaks to the person that really knew Zach Crystal the best that you really get to find out what happened, what is fact and what is fiction although deep down you will probably have an idea.

It wouldn’t be a six stories book without that supernatural element and this time it came in the form of an old tale passed down from generation to generation about something that lived in the woods and Zach Crystal and his manager certainly used this to their advantage. For me Deity is probably the darkest book of the series as it comes close to so many of the stories that have been in the news over the last few years and for this reason at times I struggled as I just couldn’t help making those comparisons. That being said it is still a fabulous addition to the series and once again Matt Wesolowski has created something that will challenge the reader at every turn of the page. The only thing left to ask is where will he take Scott King next??

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.

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