Today I am thrilled to be taking part in the blog tour for Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski. I loved the sound of this book and as I read more and more reviews from fellow bloggers I was even more excited to read it as it is a book that has been very well received. Here are my thoughts…
‘Should I have agreed to wake the dead? Will my words destroy the peace that has taken twenty years to fall on Scarclaw Fell?’
In Six Stories, we learn of the mystery surrounding the death of a teenage boy named Tom Jeffries, whose body is found a year after his disappearance during a trip to Scarclaw Fell. The verdict at the time was one of misadventure, but twenty years on from this discovery, the questions surrounding Tom’s untimely death are raised once more. Not everyone is convinced that what happened with Tom was an accident, and a mysterious character comes along to reignite the public’s interest in the case. Elusive journalist Scott King is the man to ask the questions, and he begins to interview the individuals who were with Tom at the time of his death to get to the bottom of the mystery. This is told through the forms of six podcasts, six interviews providing six different perspectives on events. I really liked that the stories were told through this format. It was different from any crime mystery I have read before and the use of podcasts is an innovative idea which is particularly relevant in this digital age. My interest was piqued from the start not only due to the format and the mystery surrounding Tom’s death but also of Scott King. I was interested to find out more about him, this man who has become something of a cult figure with his concealed identity. I was intrigued to find out more about the man behind the mask, and his take on the tragic events of Scarclaw Fell.
‘Then as always, it’s up to you. As you know by now, I’m not here to make judgments. I’m here to allow you to do that.’
Over the course of the six stories the reader is introduced to some of the individuals who crossed paths with Tom shortly before his disappearance. These include the testimonies of some of the teenagers who formed the ‘Rangers’ group who camped together at Scarclaw Fell, as well as individuals who were caught up in the drama without even realising it. It was great to read the different accounts and to form an image of each character and where they fitted into the group. As can be imagined with a group of teenagers, this featured an array of complex emotions and tense relationships all exacerbated by the influence of alcohol and drugs. This raised even more questions about who can be trusted, who is telling the truth, and who might have something to hide. Along the way, Scott King fills in the gaps, and provides recaps as we begin to piece together the events from that fateful night which helped to keep track of the story as it developed. This was a book I didn’t want to put down as I was eager to get to the next story and to find out more. And as it built up to its conclusion, I was presented with more details which emphasised the complexity of the situation. This combination of teenage angst, family relationships and even folklore which all played their part. This was a wonderfully written story which evoked an image of this mysterious landscape and the secrets within.
‘The events surrounding the trip to Scarclaw Fell are stories, myths, angst, unrequited love – all underpinned with a naivety dressed in boots and armour. Teenage life, red in tooth and claw.’
I thoroughly enjoyed Six Stories and found it to be a gripping and intriguing mystery told in an inventive way. A haunting and unsettling debut from an exciting new voice, I will look forward to reading more from Matt Wesolowski!
Six Stories was published in paperback on 15th March 2017 by Orenda Books. Many thanks to Karen Sullivan for providing a copy for review.
This review was written as part of the Six Stories blog tour. You can check out the other stops on the tour on the dates and blogs below!