Well, it’s so nice to be back blogging after a wonderful and much needed yuletide hiatus! So happy new year everyone and welcome to not only my first The Reading Closet review of the year BUT my first Orenda Book review since #Orentober, what a wild month that was! So, here we are, and the book in review question? The fourth instalment of the Scott King series, Beast, written by the dark genius Matt Wesolowski.
Beast was one of my anticipated December reads, it was the read I was going to snuggle up Christmas Eve with, a fluffy blanket and a cup of hot chocolate….. No, it landed on my kindle on the 20th of December, by the evening of the 21st I was finished and mentally I was rocking back and forth in the corner. If you are unaware of Matt’s other Six Stories instalments (you don’t have to read all of them to read this one, or in order) include Six Stories, Hydra and Changeling. Beast is already available in e-book format, you can purchase directly from the Orenda Book ebook store here, or you can pre-order the paperback for it’s 20th of February release here!
Elusive online journalist Scott King examines the chilling case of a young vlogger
found frozen to death in the legendary local ‘vampire tower’, in another explosive episode of Six Stories…
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, the tragic and chilling legend of the ‘Ergarth Vampire…
*Holds on to breaches and rolls from heal to toes* Well, what do we have here? Another chilling Wesolowski rollercoaster, that’s what we have. How does he do it? It’s an unbelievable talent it is, through the use of his words Matt executes an unsettling read that entwines aspects of societal issues with the snowy covering of horrifying warpness! Through multi-narration, including that of Scott King and six individual’s close to the victim in question – YouTube channel host, Elizabeth Barton, as well as segments of this channel, an eerie deathly journey has been created, a cold case has been drawn out of the shadows and investigated with the use of a podcast format. Personally, for me, the format in which Matt pens his novels is something uniquely special, it merges both my love for podcasts, crime and reading. Another reason why I absolutely love the creative format in which Matt writes, is that each ‘episode’ introduces a new character, that allows the story to unfold that little bit more with their own independent voices. This is a read that I also can’t wait for in Audible – it’ll be superb, I just know it!
The reader is immediately drawn into a chilling setting, both in weather and nature as we visit the small derelict, lonely town of Ergarth. A town that has been built on a haunting folklore that has been echoed throughout many of its generations. Beast quickly rolls from intriguing to super dark and twisty really fast, blink and you’ll miss the separating line! While reading, you can’t help but feel like you’re there, in Ergarth, you can feel the frost biting at your skin, flowing through your veins. With each chapter, the frozen hold upon the reader gets tighter, you can feel yourself becoming more chilled to the bone as you submerge yourself further into the unnerving literary depth, where waves of sinister details, revelations and themes will wash over you. The true fear that Matt encases within his novels are of necessary subjects that flash fire through the online world, whether it’s trends, trolls or individual desperation to fit in.
Matt’s incredible talent to create a novel is awing, his ability to steer the reader in the exact directions he wishes is brilliant and his writing is fantastic. His writing is very much when fiction meets reality, especially when he highlights that our lives have become a spider web of likes, followers, ‘instagrammable’ expectations with a slue of detachment of personal validity isn’t based on these factors. The concept is absolutely haunting, with it’s subtle unfolding storyline it provides a sinistrous entrée of a warped treasure that will keep you on your toes as your reading appetite is satisfied with a contemporary take on classical horror. Sounds like your sort of thing? Damn right it does, it’s great and you should absolutely grab a copy!
So, these are my thoughts of Matt’s most recent book child, I thoroughly enjoyed it and I would highly recommend not only this read but also his three previous novels. Have you already read it? What did you think?
Until next time,