Hydra (Six Stories #2) by Matt Wesolowski

Posted July 27, 2020 by midnightreview in Reviews / 2 Comments

A family massacre. A deluded murderess. Five witnesses. Six stories. Which one is true?

One cold November night in 2014, in a small town in the north west of England, 21-year-old Arla Macleod bludgeoned her mother, father 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 witnesses and Arla herself, as he questions whether Arla’s responsibility for the massacre was a 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.

My Review

I have been wanting to read one of Matt’s 6 Stories for a while now. While I enjoyed the story, for me it didn’t quite live up to the hype surrounding it.

The six stories series (try saying that 5 times fast) is about a podcast presented by Scott King. Over 6 weeks he interviews people involved with a notorious crime. In Hydra he has chosen the case of Arla Macleod who killed her family in a vicious attack. Scott wants to discover the motive behind what happened. What drove Arla to commit such a horrific crime.

As it is told in this form, the book has a mixed media feel about it. Interviews and recordings make up the bulk of the book. What I struggled with is the repetitive nature of it, for that I lay the blame at my feet. I am a book binger, when I pick up a book to read, I will read for hours (if the kids let me). This is a book, in my opinion, should be read as if it was a live podcast. By that I mean, one interview at a time, with a decent break between. Scott introduces his podcast in the same way each time, as does a real podcast. When reading in big sections it makes it repetitive and pulled me out of the story. 

Overall, I enjoyed the concept, the story was good and kept me hooked. There was an overall creepy vibe which I appreciate in a thriller. I did work out what was coming but I am a nightmare for that. It’s a rare book when I don’t see the twist coming.

I will certainly be trying another of Matt’s books as I enjoyed his writing style, this time though I will take it slowly, maybe even read a story a week rather than binge it.

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2 responses to “Hydra (Six Stories #2) by Matt Wesolowski

  1. I’ve just finished Beast, but read it over several days, so didn’t feel the repetitiveness as starkly as you did. Nevertheless, I was conscious of it. I suppose it was necessary to make the podcasts more realistic.
    Great review, though – refreshing to read one that doesn’t just gush about how great a book was. Like you, I liked the concept, and will be reading more.

    • midnightreview

      It was a mistake to read it in one go, It will be interesting to see if I feel the same reading it over a period of time.

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