A family massacre
A deluded murderess
Which one is true?
One cold November night in 2014, in a small town in the northwest of England, 21-year-old Arla Macleod bludgeoned her mother, stepfather 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 key witnesses and Arla herself, as he questions whether Arla’s responsibility for the massacre was as 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 kids, whose presence seems to extend far beyond the delusions of a murderess…
Dark, chilling and gripping, Hydra is both a classic murder mystery and an up-to-the-minute, startling thriller that shines light in places you may never, ever want to see again.
I would like to thank the author, publisher Orenda Books and blog tour organiser Anne Cater for the ARC of Hydra in return for an honest review.
Sometimes reading a book scares me, because you sense that you are holding in your hand a novel that is both clever and unnerving, but also written by supremely talented writer! What if you fail to do it justice?
From page one to the very end, I felt a tingle of anticipation that seemed to curl it’s way around every nerve in my body. Your never sure if the memories of the key witnesses are true or not, or if they to are hiding secrets of unimaginable horror. I was consumed by a feeling of dread all the time I spent reading Hydra, almost as scared to stop, as I was to keep reading!
The writer weaves a web of such skill that as a reader, I kept having to reevaluate my thoughts. There was no let up in the suspense and the compelling feeling, that you too are caught up in the web of horror surrounding the massacre of a family. It is a thriller, a first class one, but it has an element of horror, that will leave you with an urge to check your doors are securely locked and to be sure the windows are too.
It has at it’s heart a story about a web of secrets, actions and lies. It delves into the darkest recesses of minds that most of us would struggle to understand. From this the writer weaves a story that will haunt me for sometime to come and which I feel has seeped deep into my subconscious.
It is superb. It’s thrilling. But most of all it’s confirmation of a talented young writer, whose talent is recognised and nurtured by a publisher, who cares about delivering first class stories to it’s readers.
Thank you all involved for the chance to read it.
Hydra can be purchased from Amazon and other great booksellers.
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.