Today I’m thrilled to be one of the stops on the Hydra by Matt Wesolowski blog tour. Hydra has to be one of the most original crime thrillers I’ve read in a long time, it’s definitely a book I will be recommending to anyone and everyone. Hydra is published by one of my very favourite publishers Orenda Books, you can buy it now for the kindle or the paperback version is available from the 15th January 2018.
My thanks to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books and Ann Cater for my ARC of Hydra, and for allowing me to be part of this awesome blog tour.
One cold November night in 2014, in a small town in the north west of England, 26-year-old Arla Macleod bludgeoned her mother, father and younger sister to death with a hammer, in an unprovoked attack known as the ‘Macleod Massacre’.
Now incarcerated at a medium-security mental-health institution, Arla will speak to no one but Scott King, an investigative journalist, whose `Six Stories’ podcasts have become an internet sensation. King finds himself immersed in an increasingly complex case, interviewing five witnesses and Arla herself, as he questions whether Arla’s responsibility for the massacre was a diminished as her legal team made out.
As he unpicks the stories, he finds himself thrust into a world of deadly forbidden `games’, online trolls, and the mysterious Black-eyed Children, whose presence extends far beyond the delusions of a murderess.
Hydra oh WOW this has to be one of the most original and creepiest books I’ve read EVER! I loved Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski, but I loved Hydra more, it simply oozes menace from the opening chapter. Hydra is part crime thriller with more than a dose of the supernatural thrown in, and it’s a novel that’s guaranteed to capture the reader’s imagination. From the start the reader knows who committed the crime, it’s the “why” that the author explores in his series of six intriguing pod casts. Each one gives the reader a different perspectives of Arla, but which one is true? As Scott King, an investigative journalist slowly unravels a very deeply unsettling and disturbing tale I felt the first stirrings of fear that seeped into my bones and pretty much stayed with me until I reached the ending of this is wickedly creepy book.
Matt Wesolowski is a genius in my opinion using pod casts to narrate the story made Hydra a compelling read. As a reader I felt very much part of this book as the pod casts came to life through the authors incredible writing, so I actually felt like I was listening to them rather than reading them. If there’s one thing that’s guaranteed to give me the heebie-jeebies it’s children in a fictional book, not your garden-variety ones, but the ones who have an aura of malevolence surrounding them, there right here in what has to be one of the most hair raising books I have EVER read . The author introduces the reader to the black-eyed children,(not a spoiler, as it’s in the book description) who scared the living day lights out of me, so much so I had nightmares about them! I found myself gripped by an irrational fear that stayed with me long after I put Hydra down, in my opinion that’s testament to the authors remarkable writing skill.
With more than a hint of the super natural Hydra is a character study of a very troubled teenager, throughout you can’t help wondering what events caused Arla to commit such a terrible crime. Despite all this Hydra is such a beautifully written book, and considering it deals with some very ugly and disturbing subjects which I’m not going to go into as I would hate to spoil the read for others, the author tackles them with sensitivity and understanding. I think Matt Wesolowski has done a remarkable job in creating a novel that is both atmospheric and deliciously dark, it also has a modern twist to it which makes it very readable, and make an idea book club read, there is so much to discuss and debate. In my opinion the author has written a crime thriller that’s exciting, unpredictable, deceptive and down right menacing. Hydra is a must read and one I would highly recommend, despite it only being January I have a feeling this one is a BIG contender for my top reads of 2018 already!
I’m giving Hydra the very prestigious Gold Star Award Rating, the first one of the year. It’s given to a book I feel is particularly outstanding, a book that covers every aspect of what I look for in a fabulous read, fantastic plot, great characters and a storyline that draws me in from the first page and keeps me in its grips until I reach the very last page.
Print Length: 320 pages
Publisher: ORENDA BOOKS (24 Dec. 2017)
About the author
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. Matt was a winner of the Pitch Perfect competition at Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival in 2015, and his winning thriller, Six Stories, achieved massive critical acclaim, was a number-one bestseller in ebook, and was sold to Hollywood for a major motion picture. He is currently working on another installment in the Six Stories series.