Category Archives: Matt Wesolowski

#Beast by at Matt Wesolowski #SixStories @OrendaBooks @ConcreteKraken #HangoverAward

Today I’m thrilled to share my review for Beast by Matt Wesolowski. Beast is the fourth book in the #SixStories series and although they can all be read as stand-alones, I would urge you to read them in order, just because it’s such a brilliant series. Read on for my thoughts on the latest book in series……

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Elusive online journalist Scott King examines the chilling case of a young vlogger found frozen to death in the legendary local ‘vampire tower’, in another explosive episode of Six Stories…

In the wake of the ‘Beast from the East’ cold snap that ravaged the UK in 2018, a grisly discovery was made in a ruin on the Northumbrian coast. Twenty-four-year-old Vlogger, Elizabeth Barton, had been barricaded inside what locals refer to as ‘The Vampire Tower’, where she was later found frozen to death.

Three young men, part of an alleged ‘cult’, were convicted of this terrible crime, which they described as a ‘prank gone wrong’

However, in the small town of Ergarth, questions have been raised about the nature of Elizabeth Barton’s death and whether the three convicted youths were even responsible.

Elusive online journalist Scott King speaks to six witnesses – people who knew both the victim and the three killers – to peer beneath the surface of the case. He uncovers whispers of a shocking online craze that held the young of Ergarth in its thrall and drove them to escalate a series of pranks in the name of internet fame. He hears of an abattoir on the edge of town, which held more than simple slaughter behind its walls, the tragic and chilling legend of the ‘Ergarth Vampire… 

Both a compulsive, taut and terrifying thriller, and a bleak and distressing look at modern society’s desperation for attention, Beast will unveil a darkness from which you may never return…

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The Six Stories series by Matt Wesolowski is one of my favourite crime series EVER! It’s deliciously dark, extremely imaginative, each book has been beyond riveting. Beast like the other books in the series features modern day themes, combined with darkest folklore, and yet again the author’s vivid imagination propels the reader into a plot that’s marked by an unrelenting bleakness, and yet Beast makes for an all consuming read.

Six Stories is precisely that, Six Stories told from the perspective of six witnesses narrated in the form of pod casts with online investigating journalist Paul King. I’m not going to rehash the plot details, I think the tagline on the book sums Beast up perfectly “A frozen girl, a haunted town, a deadly challenge, six stories, which one is true?”. What follows is a tense, horrifying read that’s darker than the dead of night.  

The author has an unique ability to create the perfect setting, Tankerville Tower in the small town of Ergarth is a character darkly atmospheric, and creeping, it’s a place shrouded in folklore tales of bloodthirsty vampires, a place where evil lies. Even the climate is the perfect backdrop for this book, set during the wake of  ‘The Beast from the East’, with its plummeting temperatures, the biting winds, it gives the sense that Ergarth is inhospitable, a place you wouldn’t want to visit for the fear of what you might encounter.

Beast is very much a modern day tale, and one that highlights, a phenomenon that’s very real, society’s need for validation and attention through social media. The author paints a bleak and disquieting picture of the negative side of social media, it’s disturbing and frighteningly credible. As each pod cast ends, trepidation and dread grows, the darkness of the book pulls you in, holding you in its clutches until the final page.

If there’s one thing I love about this series, it’s the author’s ability to write a book that doesn’t fit one particular genre, Beast is no different it has components of horror, thriller and crime with a modern day twist, it’s impossible to second guess where the plot is leading, which for me made this such a memorising read. Each book Matt Wesolowski writes is imaginative, captivating, and cleverly constructed, this is an author who doesn’t rest on his laurels each book is as good if not better than the last. Matt  Wesolowski has once again written the epitome of a page-turner. Highly, highly recommended. 

Yes you’ve guessed it I’m giving Beast, my second book of 2020 the shiny Book hangover award, 

What criteria does a book need to meet to win this award?

It’s given to a book I feel is particularly outstanding, a book that covers every aspect of what I look for in a read, an original  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.

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  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Orenda Books (6 Feb. 2020) kindle edition (out now)

Buying links:   Amazon UK 🇬🇧    Amazon USA 🇺🇸

My thanks to Karen Sullivan for my ARC in exchange for an unbiased and honest review.

 

Other books in the Six Stories series

 

 

**The book review Café top ten books of the year 2019**

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With a new year approaching it’s time to share my final post of the year, my top ten reads of 2019. I must admit I was hoping to read lots more books this year, but unfortunately life got in the way. Compared to some book bloggers my total read is abysmal, am I bothered? The answers believe it or not is ‘no’ I would rather read 103 fabulous books in a year, than hundreds of books that were unmemorable!     

I decided to choose my top ten reads from the books I choose to give my book hangover award to, 16 in total. It was a really hard choice but these are the books that I still think of months after reading them.

What criteria does a book need to meet to win my book hangover award?

It’s given to a book I feel is particularly outstanding, a book that covers every aspect of what I look for in a read, an original  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.

So without further ado here are my top reads of 2019 in no particular order…..

Changeling by Matt Wesolowski

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If you’re looking for a series with an ingenious plot, a book that’s tense, deliciously dark, a classic mystery with a horror feel then look no further than Changeling by Matt Wesolowski it has all these elements and so much more.

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2019/01/21/changeling-sixstories-by-matt-wesolowski-bookreview-orendabooks-concretekraken-

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

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The Silent Patient is an assured debut from Alex Michaelides, he’s definitely an author to watch out for. Highly recommend if you enjoy a dark, shocking psychological thriller that will leave you speechless (excuse the pun!) 

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2019/02/05/thesilentpatient-by-alex-michaelides-alexmichaelides-orionbooks-2019mustreads-benwillisuk-bookhangoveraward/

Breakers by Doug Johnstone

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Breakers is a searing and heartbreaking portrayal of modern day Britain, the author takes the reader on an emotional journey, one that at times feels uncomfortable, it packs a hell of a punch, you will find yourself questioning your own assumptions, it’s a book whose characters will remain with you long after you reach the last page

Breakers by Doug Johnstone #BookReview @doug_johnstone @OrendaBooks #Breakers #BookHangoverAward

The Whisper Man by Alex North

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There is nothing more terrifying than a child being murdered, and the author expertly plays on these fears, creating a dark, creepy, and haunting read. Be prepared for a few sleepless nights, it takes a lot to unnerve me, but this book actually scared me silly in parts! (In the best possible way)

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2019/06/05/the-whisper-man-by-alex-north-writer_north-michaeljbooks-bookreview-thewhisperman-mustreads-bookhangoveraward/

Black Summer by M W Craven

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I loved how the author brought all the threads together culminating in a jaw dropping, but very satisfying and clever conclusion. Black Summer isn’t as dark or gory as The Puppet Show, but OMG if anything I probably enjoyed this book more, there’s so many questions, intrigue, and mystery, my perfect kind of crime read.

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2019/06/17/black-summer-by-m-w-craven-bookreview-mwcravenuk-littlebrownuk-thecrimevault-washingtonpoe-blacksummer-bookhangoveraward/

In The Absence Of Miracles by Michael J Malone

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Michael Malone is one of those rare author who appears to be able to write in any genre and turn what could be an interesting read, into something extra special, definitely a book that will stay with me for a long time to come.

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2019/08/19/in-the-absence-of-miracles-by-michael-j-malone-michaeljmalone-orendabooks-bookreview-mustreads-bookhangoveraward/

Blood song by Johana Gustawsson

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The thing I admire about this author’s novels is the fact she can take a period in history, in this case Spain 1938 and the brutalities of Spain’s dictatorship, and incorporate them with crimes set in 2016, how can someone combine such distant periods into a credible story and intertwine them? and yet Gustawsson accomplishes both producing a story that’s harrowing, disturbing, but such a compelling and intensely heart wrenching read.    

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2019/08/23/blood-song-by-johana-gustawsson-bookreview-jogustawsson-orendabooks-mustreads/

Nine Elms by Robert Bryndza

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Dark Elms takes the authors writing to a whole new level of amazing. Dark Elms ticks all the boxes for me it’s dark, gory (I grimaced at more than a couple of the authors descriptive crime scenes) and features a serial killer who will send shivers down your spine, if Hannibal Lecter gave you nightmares, be prepared for a few disturbed nights! 

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2019/11/01/nine-elms-by-robertbryndza-littlebrownuk-bookssphere-nineelms-mustreads-bookhangoveraward/

Dead Memories by Angela Marsons

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As a huge crime thriller reader I can sometimes find a long-running series has lost its lustre, they can feel repetitive and lacking the suspense I look forward too, but “hell” no Angela Marsons makes sure each book has a unique plot, that are packed to the brim with suspense, with characters whom you genuinely care about. 

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2019/02/21/deadmemories-by-angela-marsons-mustreads-writeangie-bookouture-bookhangoveraward/

Non Fiction read of the year 

Four Feet Under by Tamsen Courtenay

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Four Feet Under is a powerful and moving insight into the day-to-day lives of some the unfortunate people who through tragedy, misfortune and bad decisions have found themselves living on the streets of Britain, displaced, dispossessed and destitute.

#FourFeetUnder By Tamsen Courtenay @TamsenC_writer @unbounders #Recommended #TrueStory #Homeless

Highly recommended reads for a book hangover

Turn The Other Way by Stuart James

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For me horror is all about my emotional reaction, that feeling of fear and dread as you turn each page, the constant feeling you should be reading a book from behind a cushion (not practical but you get my drift), a book that makes the heart pound and every little noise makes you jump. This is exactly how Turn The Other Way by Stuart James made me feel, it’s a shocker of a horror thriller novel.  

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2019/02/18/turn-the-other-way-by-stuart-james-stuartjames73-mustreads-horror-thriller-crime-mustreads/

My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing

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My Lovely Wife is a deliciously dark tale of relationships and secrets, not original themes by any means, but it’s so different to any other novel I’ve read, it’s wickedly entertaining, full of black humour, and as for the characters their deeply flawed but fascinating never the less.

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2019/04/30/my-lovely-wife-by-samantha-downing-smariedowning-penguinrandom-mylovelywife-bookhangoveraward-bookreview/

The Passenger by John Marrs

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The Passenger a futuristic novel set in the not to distance future blew me away its original, taut and brilliantly written.  I read this book at every opportunity, irritated by the slightest disturbance, which for me is always a sign of a fantastic read.  

The Passenger by John Marrs @JohnMarrs1 @EdburyPublication #MustReads #SciFi #BookHangoverAward

Night by Jack Jordan

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If there’s one thing I can be sure of it’s that Jack Jordan never fails to amaze me, each book he’s written has been very different in tone, content and plot. But still Night By Night the latest offering from the author took even me by surprise, I wasn’t expecting to have my heart shattered, or to find myself sobbing uncontrollably, at this point I realised I had only read the first four chapters of the novel! Such a brilliant and haunting start to what I consider to be Jack Jordan’s best book yet. 

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2019/05/15/night-by-night-by-jack-jordan-bookreview-jackjordanbooks-corvusbooks-blogtour-jacksback-nightbynight-bookhangoveraward/

The July Girls by Phoebe Locke

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If from the book description you thought this was a run of the mill ‘serial killer thriller’ you couldn’t be more wrong. This book has so much more to offer the crime thriller lover, it’s a book that’s superbly written, an extraordinary and highly original tale, told through the eyes of a brilliantly drawn character, ten-year-old Addie.

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2019/08/06/the-july-girls-by-phoebe-locke-phoebe_locke-wildfirebks-review-thejulygirls-summermustreads/

Violet by SJI Holliday

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Oh, how I loved Violet by SJI Holliday, what an intense, psychological thriller this novel turned out to be. Exquisitely written, Violet makes for an all-consuming read, one that begs to be read in one hugely satisfying sitting.

Violet by SJI Holliday #BookReview @SJIHolliday @OrendaBooks #Violet #BookHangoverAward

Books I read in 2019

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And that’s it for another year folks. Here’s wishing my followers old and new, fellow book bloggers, authors and publishers a happy new year, and here’s hoping it’s a good one for you all, and happy reading.

Lorraine x

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**Christmas with Orenda books** featuring Matt Wesolowski @ConcreteKraken @orendabooks #Giveaway #BookBundle

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Today I’m thrilled to share a Christmas post from Matt Wesolowski. So put your feet up and take five minutes for yourself and read on…..

What is your favourite Christmas memory? 

I have a really vivid memory of being young – perhaps seven or eight lying under the Christmas tree one evening, playing with my toys (that was my favourite thing to do at Christmas – I was quite an odd child!). I remember my dad puttering into the room and putting some ghost stories on the radio for me, then leaving. I think they were MR James stories and I remember that feeling of being utterly chilled with fear; just me, under this canopy of pine and muilti-coloured fairy-lights. It was both wonderful and terrifying at the same time.

 Where will you be spending Christmas?

Sadly, I’ll be spending a lot of it on my own – my other half is in another part of the country and my son is with his mum. I can’t wait to put the radio on and lie under the Christmas tree, playing with ‘Mask’ figures and listening to MR James!

Do you have any Christmas traditions?

Not really anymore (sorry – this is really depressing isn’t it?) My son and I always go and see a Christmas play – it’s The Snow Queen this year – that always makes Christmas feel a a little bit magical… and less depressing!

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 What was your best ever Christmas present?

That’s really tough – I remember getting a ‘Warhammer Skaven Screaming Bell’ from my uncle when I was about eleven. For those of you not in the know, a Skaven Screaming Bell was a little lead miniature of a cursed relic being pulled along by mutant rat-creatures from a fantasy battle game. God, I loved that Screaming Bell. My son is now into fantasy battle games and I just hope that one day I can make him that happy with something just as gruesome!

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What was your worst ever Christmas present?

When I first moved out of home, when I was 17, my parents bought me a load of pots and pans – it was a wonderful thought and I think I still have some of them, but I remember this feeling of suddenly not being a kid anymore; I wasn’t ever going to get a Skaven Screaming Bell again, it was one of those life-affirming moments I suppose.

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Favourite Christmas tipple?

I don’t drink alcohol but I love a 0% Moretti or a Root Beer.

What are you hoping for this Christmas?

A Skaven Screaming…no, just kidding. I’d really like a walk in some snowy woods this year. And loads of books!

Have you got a Christmas message you would like to share with readers and bloggers?

Be nice to each other. And especially animals. Or Krampus will tear you limb from limb 🙂

About Matt Wesolowski

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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 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 WHSmith Fresh Talent pick, and film rights were sold to a major Hollywood studio.
A prequel, Hydra, was published in 2018 and became an international bestseller. Changeling, book three in the series, was published in 2019 and was longlisted for the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year and shortlisted for Capital Crime’s Amazon Publishing Reader Awards in two categories: Best Thriller and Best Independent Voice.

 

Follow Matt on Twitter @ConcreteKraken and on his website: mjwesolowskiauthor.wordpress.com

Books published by Orenda Books

My thanks to Matt Wesolowski for writing this post and taking part in this feature.

Giveaway

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The giveaway includes all the books featured in the above photo, 18 fabulous books in total. The competition is open to UK residents only. Competition will close on midnight on the 19th December and please note the prize will be sent directly from the publishers (hopefully in time for Christmas) and you must be following my blog.

To enter click on the link and good luck Orenda Books Christmas bundle 📚🎁🎄

The book review café book of the month **January 2019**

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Hallelujah January 2019 is finally over, is it just me or did January seem to go on forever? It’s the 1st of February which can only mean one thing, it’s time for me to choose my book of the month.

As only one who follows my blog will know I’m rubbish at narrowing it down to one book and more often than not I’ve chosen two or in some months three! I have had a srtrict word with myself, and this year I’m going to try and keep to just the one book of the month as the title suggests, let’s see how that goes 😂

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To be honest I read some fabulous books in January, but there is one book that really stood out. It’s a book that I feel is particularly outstanding, a book that covers every aspect of what I look for in a read, an original  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. So without further ado here is my ONE book of the month…….

The Changeling by Matt Wesolowski

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Matt Wesolowski has the unique ability to write a book that mixes genres but at the same time he creates a story that is credible yet memorising in its telling. With a powerful plot, which is intense to say the least, this book made for one of the most thought provoking reads I’ve read in a long time. Changeling, in fact the whole series of Six Stories has to be one of the most exciting and innovative reads EVER written, and that’s not something I normally write in ANY review. You can read my full review here….Changeling #SixStories by Matt Wesolowski #BookReview @OrendaBooks @ConcreteKraken #BookHangoverAward

Highly Recommended

Jar Of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier #BookReview #BookShelfReads @JenniferHillier @CorvusBooks

#SpareRoom by Dreda Say Mitchell #BlogBlitz @DredaMitchell @BloodhoundBook #MustReads

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Books I’m hoping to read in February

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A little ambitious you maybe thinking 😂🙈, but you never know. I do really need to make a dent in my NetGalley shelf as some how or other it’s got into double figures something I never let happen! But there are so many fabulous books due to be released this year that I just can’t resist. So I’m on a self induced Netgalley ban until I’m down to single figures (watch this space, as I have zilch will power concerning adding new books to my TBR pile!)

 

 

Changeling #SixStories by Matt Wesolowski #BookReview @OrendaBooks @ConcreteKraken #BookHangoverAward

On Christmas Eve in 1988, seven-year-old Alfie Marsden vanished in the Wentshire Forest Pass, when a burst tyre forced his father, Sorrel, to stop the car. Leaving the car to summon the emergency services, Sorrel returned to find his son gone. 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, his son and his ex-partner, to try to find out what really happened that fateful night. He takes a journey 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 where Alfie is………

Intensely dark, deeply chilling and searingly thought provoking, Changeling is an up-to-the-minute, startling thriller, taking you to places you will never, ever forget.

If you’re looking for a series with an ingenious plot, a book that’s tense, deliciously dark, a classic mystery with a horror feel then look no further than Changeling by Matt Wesolowski it has all these elements and so much more. This is the third book in the six stories series, although it can easily be read as a stand-alone I would urge you to read the whole series, I loved Six Stories , scared myself silly reading Hydra, which I also happened to love, and Changeling? Definitely the best book in the series YET, I loved it. There aren’t many books that make my heart beat nine to the dozen, but boy this one did! It’s so damn creepy, but surprisingly this novel also made for an intense, thought provoking read.

Changeling is narrated in the form of episodes of a true-crime podcast, created by elusive online journalist, Scott King. Consisting of six episodes, each features the perspective of someone connected to the disappearance of little Alfie Marsden back in 1988. Wesolowski has a unique style of writing, each characters voice makes the story come to life, it feels like you are alongside Scott King as he records his pod cast, trying to decipher the clues hidden within the characters stories to find the answers to Alfie’s disappearance. As each pod cast ends the tension is palatable and although I wanted to race through Changeling, I also wanted to savour each pod cast, and soak up the disturbing atmosphere that radiated from the pages of this brilliantly told story.  

The setting of Alfie’s disappearance Wentshire Forest is as much a character as those who appear in the book. The author captures a setting that is shrouded in folklore with tales of mythical beings, legendary beasts, and the supernatural. The forest is one where those who dare enter see and hear strange things. Wesolowski descriptions are so vivid I swear I could smell the damp, cloying earth, hear the trees whispering, sense the malevolence hiding within the forest. Changeling’s first half is very much horror based, but then the author takes the reader down a dark path, one which is horrifying in its telling. The author provides a stark reminder that sometimes it’s the monsters who live alongside us that we should fear the most, and not the monsters depicted in folklore, or maybe we should fear them both. It’s this part that make the book a horrifying and an emotional read, one that causes the reader to feel and experience emotions you would not expect in a mystery/crime novel.

Matt Wesolowski has the unique ability to write a book that mixes genres but at the same time he creates a story that is credible yet memorising in its telling. With a powerful plot, which is intense to say the least, this book made for one of the most thought provoking reads I’ve read in a long time. Changeling, in fact the whole series of Six Stories has to be one of the most exciting and innovative reads EVER written, and that’s not something I normally write in ANY review.  I’ve loved every book in the series, but Changeling is definitely my favourite, I constantly found my thoughts returning to this book long after I finished it. Matt Wesolowski raises the bar with each book he writes, each one has been very different and I adore the horror element he weaves into his books (even though they have given me nightmares). Changeling made for an exceptional read that took my breath away, I will definitely be recommending this book/series to anyone and everyone. 

  •  Print Length: 320 pagesPublisher: ORENDA BOOKS (15 Nov. 2018)
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It will come as no surprise but I’m giving Changeling my first shiny new Book hangover award, It’s given to a book I feel is particularly outstanding, a book that covers every aspect of what I look for in a read, an original  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.

Buying links:    Amazon UK 🇬🇧       Amazon US 🇺🇸

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My #TopReads of 2018 by the book review café #MustReads

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I know some people think it’s too early to be sharing a top reads post before the end of 2018, but I’m taking some time off from my blog until the new year so it’s now or never.

I have been blogging for just over three years now and yet I’ve never done a top reads post and now I know why😂  I have read some fabulous books this year and trying to narrow it down is nigh on impossible. If you read my book of the months post you will know I can’t even manage to choose ONE book of the month! So I set myself an impossible challenge or so I thought, but then I had a brainwave “why not share all the books I gave a gold star too” simple eh?

So my top read list consists of all the books I gave this award to, It’s given to a book I feel is particularly outstanding, a book that covers every aspect of what I look for in a read, an original  plot, great characters and a storyline that drew me in from the first page and kept me in its grips until I reached the very last page. So here are those books in no particular order.

Links to my reviews can be found under each set of books I’ve included

 

 

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2018/02/02/unsub-by-meg-gardiner-bookreview-duttonbooks-meggardiner1-mustreads/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2018/01/06/blog-tour-hydra-by-matt-wesolowski-orendabooks-concretekraken/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2018/02/27/thehunger-by-alma-katsu-mustreads-almakatsu-poppystimpson-transworldbooks/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2018/04/09/blog-tour-keeper-by-johana-gustawsson-bookreview-

 

 

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2018/04/23/the-key-to-deaths-door-by-mark-tilbury-bloodhoundbook-mtilburyauthor-mustreads/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2018/05/11/dying-truth-by-angela-marsons-bookreview-writeangie-bookouture-mustreads/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2018/05/25/dont-make-a-sound-by-david-jackson-bookreview-mustreads-author_dave-bonnierzaffre/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2018/05/30/thepuppetshow-by-m-w-craven-mwcravenuk-littlebrownuk-mustreads/

 

 

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2018/05/15/cross-her-heart-by-sarah-pinborough-sarahpinborough-harpercollinsuk-mustreads-donttrustherbooks/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2018/06/07/blog-tour-th1rt3en-by-steve-cavanagh-sscav-orion_crime-lauren_bookspr-tr4cyf3nt0n-thatbookthathook/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2018/06/19/thislittlepiggy-by-rob-ashman-blogblitz-robashmanauthor-bloodhoundbook-mustreads/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2018/06/22/the-old-you-by-louise-voss-bookreview-mustreads-louisevoss1-     

 

 

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2018/07/06/the-lion-tamer-who-lost-by-louise-beech-summermustreads-louisewriter-orendabooks/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2018/07/16/in-the-dark-by-cara-hunter-mustreads-carahunterbooks-penguinrandom-penguinukbooks/?preview=true&iframe=true

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2018/08/21/blog-tour-beforehereyes-by-jack-jordan-jackjordanbooks-corvusbooks-must-reads2018/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2018/09/10/blog-tour-the-hangmans-hold-by-michael-wood-michaelhwood-killerreads-harpercollinsuk-

 

 

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2018/08/23/truthandlies-by-caroline-mitchell-caroline_writes-mustreads-newcrimeseries/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2018/10/04/blog-tour-the-murder-of-harriet-monckton-by-elizabeth-haynes-elizjhaynes-myriadeditions-harrietmonckton-

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2018/11/27/the-liars-wife-by-samantha-hayes-samhayes-bookouture-blogblitz-

And finally just when I thought I had completed my top reads  post I read Skin Deep by Liz Nugent which blew me away, and now it’s firmly one of my top reads of 2018. 

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#SkinDeep by Liz Nugent #BookReview #MustReads @lizzienugent #IrishBookAwards @PenguinBooks

And there you go my 19 top reads of 2018, are any of my choices included in your top reads of 2018? Do you want to share your top reads of 2018?  I would to love to know so please feel free to leave a comment in the post.

I’m ashamed to admit I only read 104 books in 2018 not as many as I hoped (Holds head in shame) but hey ho hopefully next year will be better, here are the books I read……..

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Some of the books I’m looking forward to reading in 2019….

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To all the fabulous publishers and authors who have sent me ARC’s, it’s an honour to get so many awesome books, but it’s not something I’ve come to expect or take for granted so a huge thank you to each and everyone of you x x 

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Finally I would like to wish my followers, those who constantly share my posts, book bloggers,  publishers, authors and readers a very merry Christmas and a very happy new year,  And thank you for all your support 😘

 

**Blog tour** Hydra by Matt Wesolowski @OrendaBooks @ConcreteKraken

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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. 

Book description

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.

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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.

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Buying links:   Amazon US 🇺🇸              Amazon UK 🇬🇧

Print Length: 320 pages

Publisher: ORENDA BOOKS (24 Dec. 2017)

About the author

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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.

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