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)
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.