Hello! Today I’m pleased to welcome you to JuliaPalooza for my stop on the Blog Tour for Beast by Matt Wesolowski, which is available now from Orenda Books (links below).
About the book
Continuing the unique, explosive Six Stories series, based around six podcasts comes 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…
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, and the tragic and chilling legend of the Ergarth Vampire…
Beast is like nothing I’ve ever read before. The Six Stories podcast is a great structure for a book and Matt Wesolowski weaves the ever-changing narrative cleverly between Scott King’s six different interviewees and snapshots of the victim herself.
I’ve had Six Stories and Hydra on my kindle for ages, following recommendations on other blogs, and I fully regret not having read them before now but I have bumped them firmly up my reading pile. I think unfortunately there might be spoilers in Beast for the last book, so be aware of that (although I might be wrong). Don’t be like me, left kicking yourself: read the series in order!
Beast is completely compelling. The podcast style feels like Scott King is genuinely whispering in your ear, bringing to life the bleakness of life in Ergarth, slowly revealing the horror of what occurred two years previously and shining a light on the events that may have led to it.
There are some genuinely unsettling and disturbing moments in Beast, as well as a real sadness about some of the characters, and Matt Wesolowski makes some stark points about austerity, desperation and hopelessness, contrasted with the shiny lure of internet fame, fortune and notoriety.
I highly recommend Beast to anyone looking for a dark, twisty, gothic mystery. I’m glad I’ve finally read Matt Wesolowski and will definitely be reading the rest of the series.
Huge thanks as always to Orenda Books for the ARC of Beast and to Anne Cater for the opportunity to join the tour.
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- 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.
About the Blog Tour
Please check out the rest of the amazing bloggers on the tour for Beast: