I’m so excited to welcome everyone to my stop on the blog tour for Matt Wesolowski’s Six Stories which is published by the wonderful Orenda Books
One death. Six stories. Which one is true?
1997. 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.
2017. Enter elusive investigative journalist Scott King, whose podcast examinations of complicated cases have rivalled 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.
When I first heard about this book, I knew I would HAVE to read it! I’m a huge crime podcast listener…Serial, In the Dark, Accused, Crime Writers On…I could go on but my point is, a crime fiction book wrote like a podcast…I’m in. What I love about the whole premise of this book is what I have come to love about crime podcasts, and that is, taking a close up look at an unsolved cold case and resurrecting the details and evidence to provide a fresh perspective in the hopes new light shined on the case will break it open. What I hoped this book would deliver that podcasts like Serial don’t is a resolution..the hoped for answers to the cold case.
The year is 2017 as the story begins and Henry Ramsey has agreed to participate in the podcast investigation into the mysterious death of 15 year old Tom Jeffries on his family’s property 20 years ago. Henry is hesitant to dig up (so to speak) his long buried memories of Tom’s death; you see, Henry and his friends were the ones who found Tom’s body one year after he went missing, while they were (supposedly) lamping deer one stormy night. Scott King’s initial interview of Henry brings to light many of the unanswered questions that have swirled around the case for the past 20 years as to what really happened the night Tom Jeffries and his friends stayed at the Scarclaw Fell Woodlands Centre?
The novel is structured as 6 podcasts in which each episode is one of the friends being interviewed as to what they remember about the night Tom Jeffries went missing. Needless to say, each person seems to have different “remembrances” of the night they all partied, went to bed at the same time, but only Tom ended up missing and then dead. These interviews are interspersed with commentary from Scott and then a shift back to Scarclaw Fell 2017 with Henry. This structure of narration was BRILLIANT! I literally couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. Couple this along with writing that was crisp and seamless and you’ve got a story that begs you to read it in one sitting. Everything about this book grabbed my attention and had me trying to put together clues…every person interviewed created a new ripple of doubt in what the person before them had said about that night and pretty soon you realize you’re in a well choreographed story of lies and half truths. And the ending…well I didn’t see THAT coming. Well done Matt Wesolowski!
If you’re looking for an original, creative take on the traditional unsolved mystery story you’re going to love this fantastic debut
Many thanks to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books and Matt Wesolowski for my copy of Six Stories, I’m happy to provide an honest review
Matt Wesolowski is an author from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the UK. He is an English tutor and leads Cuckoo Young Writers creative writing workshops for young people in association with New Writing North. Matt started his writing career in horror and his short horror fiction has been published in Ethereal Tales magazine, Midnight Movie Creature Feature anthology, 22 More Quick Shivers anthology and many more. His debut novella The Black Land, a horror set on the Northumberland coast, was published in 2013 and a new novella set in the forests of Sweden will be available shortly. Matt was a winner of the Pitch Perfect competition at Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival in 2015. He is currently working on his second crime novel Ashes, which involves black metal and Icelandic sorcery.
Be sure to stop by and check out the other awesome blogs on the tour!!