Changeling by Matt Wesolowski

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour today for Changeling by Matt Wesolowski. My thanks to Anne Cater and Orenda Books for inviting me to take part.

I have been hearing wonderful things about Changeling, and so I leapt at the opportunity to read and review. Despite this being the third in the Six Stories series, this is the first I have read, and happily I didn’t feel disadvantaged having not read the first two.

Podcaster Scott King is delving into the disappearance of seven year old Alfie Marsden who vanished without a trace in 1988 when his father stopped to investigate a mysterious knocking sound he heard whilst driving on the Wentshire Forest Pass. Alfie was never found and he was declared officially dead in 1995. Through the six episodes of his podcasts, Scott examines the case from different points of view.

One of the aspects which intrigued me the most about this novel was the structure, which is delivered as transcripts of six podcasts, each of which delve further into the mystery being investigated by looking from different perspectives. I was keen to see how it would work, although I was worried that I may feel too removed from the ‘action’. I need not have worried, however, as it is brilliant. The writing is tight and full of suspense to the point where I was inadvertently holding my breath whilst reading at times. I actually think that the whole idea of ‘viewing’ the mystery through a podcast actually heightened the suspense.

I read Changeling at a great pace, unwilling to put it down and desperate to pick it up again whenever a moment of peace presented itself. It is unlike anything I’ve read before and it completely and utterly captivated me from page one. I really enjoyed that it had a little bit of everything; it was spine shudderingly chilling in places, but it also tugged at my heart strings. It kept me guessing for much of the novel and I found myself torn several ways as to where the story could be leading. It is definitely dark and twisty, but it defies being pigeon holed into a specific genre which I really loved.

I cannot recommend Changeling highly enough. It is unique, refreshing and delivered everything I wanted and more. It is just fantastic and I am very much looking forward to reading the earlier novels in the series Six Stories and Hydra.

Synopsis

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…

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. Matt started his writing career in horror, and his short horror fiction has been published in numerous UK- an US-based anthologies such as Midnight Movie Creature, Selfies from the End of the World, Cold Iron and many more. His novella, The Black Land, a horror story set on the Northumberland coast, was published in 2013. Matt was a winner of the Pitch Perfect competition at Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival in 2015. His debut thriller, Six Stories, was an Amazon bestseller in the USA, Canada, the UK and Australia, and a WH Smith Fresh Talent pick, and TV rights were sold to a major Hollywood studio. A prequel, Hydra, was published in 2018 and became an international bestseller.

*I was provided with a paperback copy of Changeling. The decision to read was my own and this review forms my honest opinion.

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