I’m excited to welcome you today to my stop on the blog tour for Demon, latest installment of the incredible Six Stories series written by Matt Wesolowski. Thank you to Anne Cater and Orenda Books for giving me the opportunity to read and review this outstanding book.
About the book:
In 1995, the picture-perfect village of Ussalthwaite was the site of one of the most heinous crimes imaginable, in a case that shocked the world.
Twelve-year-old Sidney Parsons was savagely murdered by two boys his own age. No reason was ever given for this terrible crime, and the ‘Demonic Duo’ who killed him were imprisoned until their release in 2002, when they were given new identities and lifetime anonymity.
Elusive online journalist Scott King investigates the lead-up and aftermath of the killing, uncovering dark and fanciful stories of demonic possession, and encountering a village torn apart by this unspeakable act.
And, as episodes of his Six Stories podcast begin to air, King himself becomes a target, with dreadful secrets from his own past dredged up and threats escalating to a terrifying level. It becomes clear that whatever drove those two boys to kill is still there, lurking, and the campaign of horror has just begun…
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- and 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 the 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, the third book in the series, was published in 2019 and was longlisted for the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year. His fourth book, Beast, won the Amazon Publishing Readers’ Independent Voice Book of the Year award in 2020. The fifth book in the series, Deity, was released in 2021.
Oh my goodness, how do I even begin to review what is yet another stunning addition to Matt Wesolowski’s Six Stories series? Demon is a dark and disturbing read that is terrifying in its intensity. Matt Wesolowski, as usual, has created a devastatingly real and gripping tale that, just like the previous books in the Six Stories series, sucks you in from the very first page, taking you on a chilling and thought provoking journey that will keep you reading long into the night.
This time elusive online journalist Scott King is investigating one of the most heinous crimes imaginable, the savage murder of twelve year old Sidney Parsons by two boys his own age during the summer of 1995. It’s a horrifying and unsettling story that can’t help but bring to mind other disturbing real life cases from the past, giving this dark tale an even more chilling edge as Scott takes the listener back in time to the events leading up to the horrific murder of Sidney and delving into the possible motivation of the ‘Demonic Duo’ who carried it out.
As before, Scott invites witnesses to come on to his podcast to talk about the case, giving them the opportunity to open up about their own experiences and to say what they think drove the two boys to murder. But as Scott begins to ask questions he starts to uncover startling tales of possible demonic possession and witchcraft, many of them steeped in superstition and hearsay. Is there more to the murder of Sidney Parsons than at first meets the eye? What is the truth behind the stories the people of the pretty town of Ussalthwaite tell? And do the reports of a strange ’presence’ at the old kilns have any truth in them? With each witness adding to the mystery behind Sidney Parsons death, is anyone ever going to be able to get to the bottom of exactly what happened on that fateful day? Or is the truth far more dark and complicated than even Scott could ever have imagined?
And so begins the latest episode of Scott King’s Six Stories…
From the opening paragraph right through to its chilling conclusion, Demon grabbed me by the throat and refused to let go right up until the final page had been turned. Told in the now familiar and incredibly well done style of a podcast, Matt Wesolowski’s ingenious writing instantly drew me into the story as the events of twenty five years ago are slowly revealed, from the memories of a local gossip right through to those who knew both the victim and killers best. Scott King speaks to six witnesses, each one bringing a fresh perspective to the case and to the characters of the boys involved, delving deep beneath the surface of what is a dark and often harrowing tale.
There is an authenticity to Matt Wesolowski’s writing that brings the Six Stories series so vividly and realistically to life. Demon is an eye opening tale that is as thought provoking as it is thrilling, asking uncomfortable questions to which there are no black or white, right or wrong answers, just the many shades of grey that make us human.
A spine tingling thriller that moves along at a cracking pace, Demon is a chillingly atmospheric read that sent shivers up and down my spine as the eerie, often harrowing tale begins to unfold. I’m not even sure which element of the story had the most impact on me as the entire book completely blew me away! Superbly written as always, I love how the story is a perfect combination of both the real world and the fantastical, with more than a hint of a possible supernatural element running beneath the surface that adds to the already thrilling intrigue and suspense that make these books so addictive. Demon is a dark, tense and at times uncomfortable read with shocks, surprises, twists and turns that will keep you guessing as the story moves forward towards its thrilling conclusion.
But, as I’ve said in previous reviews, the blistering and insightful social commentary is where Matt Wesolowski’s writing is at its most powerful. Whenever I pick up a Six Stories book I know that I’m not only in for a dark and frightening read, but that it will also be a story that will leave me with much food for thought as I turn the final page.
Demon is a cleverly written, dark and powerful read that is yet another brilliant addition to the Six Stories series of books. With a story that kept me turning the pages long into the night, it is a gripping and unpredictable read that had me on the edge of my seat throughout. And even though this is the sixth book in the series it could still easily be read as a standalone, although why you would want to with a series as good as this one I don’t know!
Matt Wesolowski‘s writing is original, compelling, easy to read and has a uniqueness to it that will keep me coming back for more time and time again. Highly recommended.
Demon by Matt Wesolowski is available to purchase now:
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