#Bookvent – Celebrating my top reads of 2021
#Bookvent day two and again we go back to one of my earliest red hot reads of 2021. This is part of a long running series which has made a quite a stir and brought a really fresh format to the crime thriller genre. I have been with the series since the start and have loved the way it has developed, combining all the element of a true crime podcast with a touch of the supernatural and a whole lot of mystery and more than the odd dose of chills. This particular story could have been ripped from the headlines, but the elements of horror and darkness which permeate the story really hit the mark for me. It’s probably no surprise to anyone that my day two pick is …
Deity by Matt Wesolowski
A shamed pop star
A devastating fire
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…
This book – well it had me feeling all manner of emotions. With a story whose premise will leave anyone who grew up with pop music in the eighties and nineties feeling a strange sense of déjà vu, this book combines mystery, fame, folklore and chills to create a really heady mix and a story which had me hooked from start to finish. This is the story of superstar Zach Crystal whose life was a lived in blaze of music, parties, intrigue and scandal, and whose came quite literally in the same way. I found Crystal to be a very strange character – quite charming and presented in such a way that you are easily drawn into his sphere, and you can see the way in which his personality, and his fame, may have been intoxicating. And yet … over the course of the six stories, we learn things that disturb and taint, quickly stripping him and his lifestyle of some of its sheen. And yet, there are elements which are so much more than just the life and times of a music star who appears to be as elusive and cloaked in mystery as podcaster Scott King. There is an edge to the story, an undercurrent of unease and the sense that there may be some darker forces in play, woven into the story in. the way that only Matt Wesolowski can. Is this simply a story of the abuse of power, or of something more, something that pushes Crystal to the edge of madness and certainly well beyond the realms of what we might consider decent behaviour. I loved the way in which, once again, Matt Wesolowski slowly builds up the full picture of Crystal’s life, and death, interspersing the podcast interviews with moments from one of Crystal’s final interviews, showing that there is far more complexity to the story than may first appear. It is a story which forced me to think long and hard about recent headlines, stories of scandal and abuse that have dominated the glittering worlds of music and film. Packed with the series trademark tension, atmosphere and stark and vivid imagery, I flew through a myriad of emotions. There was doubt in my mind as to Crystal’s level of accountability by the end of the story, but by god it was a rollercoaster ride to get there.
You can read my full review of Deity right here.
Happy #bookvent reading all