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Changeling

Published Date: 17th July 2018

Available in

$0

EBook
9781912374588
£5.99
15 November 2018
Paperback
9781912374571
£8.99
24 January 2019
Audiobook
B07KPL28H5
£14.99
15 January 2019

Description

LONGLISTED for the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year!!

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Elusive online journalist Scott King investigates the disappearance of seven-year-old Alfie in an intensely dark, deeply chilling and searingly thought-provoking thriller … for fans of Serial

 

A missing child

A family in denial

Six witnesses

Six stories

Which one is true?

 

On Christmas Eve in 1988, seven-year-old Alfie Marsden vanished in the dark Wentshire Forest Pass, when his father, Sorrel, stopped the car to investigate a mysterious knocking sound. 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 and his ex-partner, to try to find out what really happened that fateful night. Journeying 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 what happened to the little boy…

 

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.

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‘Few books creep me out, but Changeling is insidiously terrifying. The sort of terrifying that eats away at your brain and keeps you awake at night. Featuring possibly the creepiest woods since Blair Witch, Changeling cleverly strikes the balance between supernatural, superstition and reality until, like the characters, you’re unsure of what to believe. A genuine chiller with a whammy of an ending’ Caz Tudor

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‘Just getting my breath back after reading the last few pages of this. Matt Wesolowski is one of most exciting new writers of the past few years. Never disappoints. This is a creepy, chilling read that is ridiculously difficult to put down. The ending is just incredible’ Luca Veste

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‘I loved it. The combination of Matt’s style of writing and his imagination is superb, and the handling of a tough subject was beautifully tackled. I loved the first two in the Scott King series, but Changeling is frighteningly wonderful and one of the best books I have read in years’ Khurrum Rahman

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Matt Wesolowski was interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s Open Book, talking about why he thinks we find the true crime genre so interesting.

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‘For those who like the book they curl up with in their favourite slipper socks to generate a powerful sense of unease, and impel them to check all doors are locked and as many lights turned on as possible, Matt Wesolowski has just the formula to meet your self-scaring needs. Using the format employed in two of his previous books (Six Stories and Hydra) Changeling is written as if it were the transcription of a podcast, called Six Stories …After a few chapters of this skilful manipulation of the hairs on the back of your neck, you won’t be ruling it out either. And long before the conclusion is reached, no one will be in any doubt that something very strange went on in that’ Strong Words Magazine

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‘Wesolowski is a talented writer and the voices in the text feel distinct and believable; a tremendous feat seeing as this is such an experimental and highly inventive form. Everything here works well as an intricately stitched-together whole. The only seam in this rather seamless work is the filler narrative provided as audio logs at the beginning of each chapter, in which King talks into a tape recorder, which verge into the realm of over explaining. Changeling will really appeal to readers who like a supernatural element in their crime fiction. For fans of true crime podcasts, Wesolowski has perfectly capture the form in writing. The author has managed, over this series, to build great narratives that ratchet up the tension and leave enough off the page to truly haunt and frighten. The book is the third in the series and reads well as a stand-a-lone. But if you are a purist it is well worth going back to Six Stories and following these books from the start’

 Crime Fiction Lover

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‘A great thriller comprises many elements but it hinges on the ending, if the author gets it right the novel makes poetic sense. The outcome is like a tumbler lock, the last click gives meaning to the rest, the safe opens and the contents are revealed in their entirety. The kicker at the end of most novels doesn’t come as a surprise because either the twist is obvious or the writer is at such pains to hide their intention that they force you towards considering something bizarre or unusual and, low and behold, there’s your answer. The kicker in Changeling caught me out, it’s sign posted so subtlety that it only clicked at the reveal. It’s an elegant ending, here is ‘poetic balance’ (something that will make sense of you read the book). For that moment of revelation alone this novel is worth it. I’m not the biggest fan of the eerie and the mystical, and I have no interest in horror per se (except my fascination with real human tragedy, real horror), but I am a fan of great writing, of inventive and original story telling, of creative structuring of the plot and heart shredding tension. All of which Matt Wesolowski delivers … Everyone succumbs to an eerie feeling and the strange knocking of the Forest. Was Alfie spirited away? Did his father murder the boy, using the myths and legends to mask a heinous crime? A masterly piece of storytelling, very sinister, deliciously entertaining’

 New Books Magazine

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.

 

Online Reviews

Changeling has a compelling narrative that eddies and flows like a river and you will find yourself carried along on the current by Wesolowski’s hypnotic writing. There’s a palpable sense of tension keeping you company that is tied together by a captivating yet tragic mystery and a haunting truth. It’s the power of the writer to fully transport you into their work and with Changeling you find yourself forgetting that you are reading a book and a story involving fictional characters. Wesolowski’s creation feels real. The tragic disappearance of Alfie Marsden that haunts the pages doesn’t come across as a story but a real tragedy that could have happened. His characters for all intents and purposes are real and you genuinely feel like you are reading real-life accounts from real people. There’s a disquiet, an unease that runs throughout Changeling suffusing the story that Wesolowksi is telling and imbuing it with an unsettling sense of darkness. Changeling is a chilling read, a sinister story and the best Six Stories yet’

The Tattooed Book Geek 

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‘This is a brilliant read from start to finish. And what a finish! Totally taken aback. Didn’t see that coming at all! The Six Stories is one of the best I’ve read in a long time and this is my favourite yet. I read it in daylight hours just to be on the safe side. Just as well – this book is creepy and then some. That forest might be fictional but it felt real, let me tell you! It’s all so beautifully crafted – the woods, the noises , the darkness, the fear, the unknown and those legends of changelings, fairy folk and the Wentshire witch. Read each of the podcast stories slowly and soak it all in – it’s hauntingly good and superbly atmospheric. The writing is as top notch as ever and I really think Matt has surpassed himself this time. Wentshire Woods certainly felt very creep and real to me. Hauntingly atmospheric and lyrically pitch perfect’ The Book Trail

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‘As per usual, MW nails the ending with surprises I didn’t even see coming. Bringing the narrative of all three books together full circle. Turning a hopeless story of a boy taken by the woods into something much more twisted, unforgiving and desperately real. Unless I am mistaken though, this feels like the conclusion to Six Stories. I am gutted if this is true because I could easily read three more instalments with out breaking a sweat. If you haven’t read any of the Six Stories books then don’t worry as Changeling can be read as a standalone but it would be a shame not to read all three novels as they all grab you in a different way, refusing to let the reader go. Of course I look forward to what MW has in store for the future but I just wanted to say that Six Stories has been the most remarkable and memorable psychological thriller and mystery series I have read in a long time. If you need me I will be nursing my book hangover for quite a while somewhere quiet. But not too quiet…’ Always Trust in Books

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Changeling is an intense, dark and utterly absorbing book. The pages crackle with tension, the characters have real depth and the writing is truly stunning. Matt Wesolowski has to be one of the most imaginiative and talented young writers out there at the moment. His ability to make his writing current in terms of style, while still managing to write the perfect kind of crime/horror/psychological thriller mash-up, astounds me more with every book of his I read. Highly, highly recommended’ Bibliophile Book Club

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‘The plotting is ingenious, and the way those six stories mesh together is played to perfection. Changeling deals with some pretty dark subjects – a missing child is never an easy read, but it’s so much more, and so much more that I can’t say without giving away too much. Trust me in this, it’s massively relevant, incredibly intense and just so, so good. And can we talk for a minute about Wentshire Forest. I am *so* glad that I’m not going camping in the woods any time soon. Scarclaw Fell in the first book was pretty spooky, but that’s got *nothing* on Wentshire Forest. Is that a tapping at the window I can hear…?’ Espresso Coco

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Changeling fully gave me goosebumps and the sound of tapping is forever going to creep me out! With a missing child and stories about fairies and witches the scariest thing about this tale was discovering the real life monster that existed among them all. Some of the stories were really quite distressing as we learned more about the monster and it had a real genuine feel about it. Once again I forgot it was fiction and wanted to find out more about the mystery of the missing child and the creepy woods before I remember that it wasn’t real. That’s how good Matt is. I really cannot wait to see what else he comes up with’

Not Another Book Blogger

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Changeling is definitely my favourite of the three Six Stories books so far. I’m not sure if that’s down to the emotional subject matter, chilling storyline or overall creepiness of the prose. All three books feel very real, from the array of believable characters to the atmospheric settings. In fact, part of me is convinced that these are genuine cases and genuine podcasts and that Matt Wesolowski has a secret life as a crime podcaster (which means he IS his character) … You could easily read Changeling as a stand-alone. But I would recommend reading all three books anyway. They’re all brilliant, very different despite following the same format and prove that Matt Weselowski is one of the best emerging horror/crime writers in the present day. Bring on the next one! (I hope there is a next one…)’ Off-The-Shelf Books

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‘It has to be Changeling doesn’t it? I don’t think I’ve read about such alarming woods before. Luckily they are fictional as I wouldn’t fancy going there after reading this novel. Thats the genius of it though. They are so realistic and evocative that the author places you right in the heart of the woods, the noises, the idea that there might be someone watching you, or something watching you.. These are the creepiest woods I’ve been to in a novel’ Changeling is the Most Memorable visit to the woods at the BookTrail book awards

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‘Wonderfully clever and chilling, ‘Changeling’ is a short novel that contains just as much as it needs to, and so is perfectly formed … The cold case podcasts are beautifully written by Matt Wesolowski, the voices so distinctively clear that I almost heard, rather than read the words. Wentshire Forest is deeply dark and exquisitely creepy, full of folklore, ancient belief and strange goings on. My heart battled with my head as I heard each podcast, I thought I had an inkling as to what was happening and will admit to a certain amount of smugness which was soon whipped out of me as the ending packed a real punch. ‘Changeling’ continues a series which just keeps on getting better and better, it surprises, thrills and enthrals in equal measure’ LoveReading 

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‘As a fan of the Six Stories series, I knew I was going to enjoy Changeling. What I hadn’t anticipated was how much I would enjoy it. Changeling has jumped straight into my Best Books of 2018 with its brilliant pacing, creeping sense of unease and powerful, chilling story. Matt Wesolowski is a name that deserves to be better known amongst readers so I’d urge any mystery, crime and thriller fans – as well as anyone who loves a great read with a side order of sinister – to check out the Six Stories series and Changeling in particular – this is definitely Matt’s best book yet’ The Shelf of Unread Books

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‘It is highly original in its format for one, the story is told as a series of podcasts, as online reporter Scott King looks into the historical case of missing Alfie Marsden … I was on edge from page one to the very last word … Changeling has a dark and edgy feel to it, created by the way the writer builds the tension up gripping you so tight, you feel like you’re listening to the podcasts in real time, that your very much part of the story as it evolves … This is bold and clever story telling at its best and it fulfils that much used phrase ‘a must read novel’. I look forward to where Matt Wesolowski’s talents will take us next and I feel confident it will be one heck of a ride’ Books are my Cwtches

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‘It takes real skill to write a book that is entirely speech and make it readable. It is a wholly authentic narrative yet it manages to create atmosphere and build tension with clever descriptions of people and places … Combined with this is an unsettling tale of manipulative behaviour, mistruths and misdirection … It is an emotional read and I applaud Matt Wesolowski for his considered and thoughtful writing of a tricky and difficult subject matter. He is unafraid to write in unflinching terms yet it is sensitive and respectful … Matt Wesolowski just gets better and better. As a reader it is wonderful to see the development of a writer and in Changeling Matt has really hit his stride. It is challenging, dark and beautifully written and doesn’t shy away from examining difficult subject matter. This is emotive and brave writing and shines a light on an incredibly important issue; crime writing at its absolute best’ Beverley Has Read

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‘Wesolowski has created a sinister tale with a supernatural undertone which made me question what was real and what really happened to Alfie Marsden. When I wasn’t reading (which wasn’t that often), I was turning over what I’d read trying to piece together the clues and solve the mystery.   The author left me stunned at the outcome; I didn’t know what to do with myself when I finished, my brain was spinning!!!’

A Knights Read

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‘Once again, Wesolowski has created a cast of brilliant characters, a twisted and emotionally fraught plot line, and a pace that keeps you rushing through the pages so fast you could put a claim in for whiplash and RSI! It’s going to take something beyond incredible to beat this as my book of the year and it’s my first read of the year! If you’re yet to get involved with Matt’s work, do it and do it now!’

Emma the Little Bookworm

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‘A missing child, a grieving father, a neglectful alcoholic mother, things that go tap tap tap in the night, local folklore, creepy forests… Plus gripping writing, authentic dialogue, heart-pounding tension and a final twist that I seriously didn’t see coming! Yes, as you may have guessed, I loved Changeling’ Off-the-Shelf Books

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‘The picture that emerges is one that is indeed black and not at all pretty, and the characters he interviews are, in some cases, sorry excuses for individuals. Who is lying and who is speaking truth is for the reader to decide.I thought I had a pretty good idea where this book was heading after I had got half way through but that changed as I slowly began to realise just how clever a writer Wesolowski is, and how good his narration is in creating the perfect storm … I found Changeling to be dark, incredibly intense, full of supressed rage and emotionally gut wrenching. It blew me out the water. I rather think Matt Wesolowski is destined for stardom’ Live and Deadly

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Changeling is another beast, and easily Matt Wesolowski’s best yet. And that, my friends, is a pretty damn high bar. The plotting is ingenious, and the way those six stories mesh together is played to perfection. Changeling deals with some pretty dark subjects – a missing child is never an easy read, but it’s so much more, and so much more that I can’t say without giving away too much. Trust me in this, it’s massively relevant, incredibly intense and just so, so good’ Espresso Coco


‘I loved “Changeling”, as always it has a horror part, based on folklore and true stories, making the read hunting and original. Then, there’s the case that even if it has a supernatural part, the “solution” is always human, I am sure that you are aware that humans are more dangerous than animals! … This case is not for light-hearted readers, it involves haunting sounds, witches and some parenting problems that I am sure will surprise every reader at the twisted ending. But if you love a good book, well written and addictive, don’t doubt that this it has to be your next read’ Ready for The Changeling?Varietats

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‘It is well written, the plot completely draws you in and you are hooked, or I was, right from the outset … I loved the characters and how they developed as the story progressed and more was revealed. It is another brilliant story from this author and CANNOT wait to see what he releases next – no hesitation in giving this 5 stars – very highly recommended – superb!!’ Donnas Book Blog

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‘If you haven’t read a book in this series then I can only suggest you do so, because it is a fascinating premise. I can’t wait to see what the TV adaptation looks like. It is a dark menacing premise that Wesolowski has given a 21st century vibe to. He delves into the darkest depths of human nature, and plays with fractured memories, hidden fears and the ancient folklore and myths embedded in our culture. Podcasts meet rumours, theories and facts to create a fascinating murder mystery with a thriller come horror vibe. You don’t want to miss this series or the author’ Cheryl M M Book Blog

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‘Matt Wesolowski’s Changeling is like a masterclass in how to construct a good plot. It’s exacting, clever and chilling, while using themes and motifs of which we are all culturally aware, and of which we’re fearful, in ways that constantly challenge our perception, making us question what’s truth and what’s reality – and frankly whether we really care as it’s all so mesmerising anyway. It’s a good piece of writing in a twenty-first century format that will translate, in the right hands, beautifully to screen. It’s no surprise, therefore, that it’s been optioned … While I was reading it, I was struck by how English it feels – the folklore, the superstition, the people, the locale, the grittiness, and yet it’s not. It’s a story that could be set anywhere, on the eastern seaboard of Canada or a remote part of Norway, as every culture has an area that’s mired in myth, tragedy, horror, with a local bogeyman or monster, real or imagined, attached to it. Changeling’s very universality is what makes it so appealing. That’s good writing’ The Literary Shed

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‘This story grabbed me from the first pages and didn’t let up. It’s not that it’s fast paced or packed full of action but it gets under your skin and you want to know who is going to be on the podcast next, what other information are we going to get, is the mystery of Alfie’s disappearance ever going to be solved. And then you reach the later pages and it just blows you away, or at least it did for me. I thought the story was heading in one direction and it did the biggest u-turn you could ever imagine and just sent me in a completely different, but entirely fitting direction and I ended the book staring at it like it just smacked me over the head because, metaphorically, that’s exactly what it did! This is a stunning and mesmerising read from an author who is just getting better and better’ Book Lover Worm Blog

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Changeling is another fantastic, eerie addition to the Six Stories Series. This is a book that plays on childhood fears of a dark wood and what lurks in there. It will get under your skin and into your mind making you think about it constantly. Every knocking noise made me jump and had me on edge until I had investigated where the source was coming from, a sure sign of a fabulous book … This is the third book in this series and the third I’ve read, though I don’t think the books have to be read in order as they are all individual stories. In my opinion Changeling is the author’s best yet and I’m seriously excited to see what he comes up with next’ Over the Rainbow Book Blog

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‘Wesolowski’s characters were fantastic, never superficial, never one dimensional but real and believable, with a depth that took you right into their mindsets, and which at times I found downright scary … Changeling was a novel that will live long in my brain, not just for the dramatic twist, but for the skill of its author, for the mesmerising nature of the narrative and the characters. Having read Hydra I would have to say that Changeling is better, it had all the hallmarks of an author maturing, and developing his craft, of having a deep understanding of his subject matter and an ability to pull in its reader, hold them captive, before letting them go and begging for the next Scott King instalment’ My Bookish Blogspot

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‘As always, little was as it seemed and each interview revealed more about the family. I am probably one of many who was quick to jump to conclusions. Just like the media and locals did. When more was revealed I felt a little remorse. A strange feeling, when it is after all a novel. I wasn’t prepared for what happened. I have never felt so stunned by the ending of a book before. I have never still been gazing into space two days later trying to find the words for a review. I’m sure it will be one I am thinking about for quite a while’ Stephs Book Blog

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‘This book is exceptionally written and beautifully told in a creepy discerning manner of events. However, there is a tapping sound that stays with you. Sometimes while reading this, I would stop for a moment because it gave me that feeling of being watched (although I was completely alone), I felt… cold. I loved how the characters are all so intricately different, each with separate quirks and accents that come across really well in every account that is presented … I absolutely recommend this book because it’s a thought-provoking chiller thriller that will disturb you for very good reasons. I dare anyone to read this alone in the woods on a dreary day’ Now Fiction

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‘With a fantastic plot that kept me on tenterhooks and even managed to leave me with a lump in my throat, Changeling is without a doubt fiction from the top shelf and worthy of all the stars and praise I can possibly shower it with. Matt Wesolowski deftly guides the reader through a realistic and, sadly, believable scenario and if that wasn’t marvellous enough, ends up sucker punching you in the final pages, leaving your head utterly spinning. You, sir, are a genius! … Matt Wesolowski has most definitely done it again and Changeling is the best one in the series yet. Considering the brilliance of its two predecessors, that’s really saying something’ Novel Deelights

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Changeling was bold, unrelenting and without a doubt my SCARIEST READ EVER … I seriously love novels with stories drenched in legend and folklore and Changeling made optimal use of this … When I finished reading the novel I just sat there, staring into the distance with a major book hangover. I can best describe the whole experience as going into a horror house, you’re scared and all but once you’ve left all you can think is I want to do it again. Well it’s the same here! Changeling was incredibly atmospheric, and involved a brilliant plotline that really delivered in the end. This is a novel that I’ll recommend to everyone over and over again, and I can’t wait to read another cold case podcast’

 The Belgian Reviewer

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‘The ending BLEW MY MIND. I had goose bumps, I gasped out loud, I had tears in my eyes, my eyes almost popped out of my head, It was just bloody brilliant. For the first time ever I wanted immediately to turn back to page one and re-read. I’m still recovering now a week or so after. From the sucker punch Wesolowski delivered. Hats off, scarves off, gloves off and just about every other item of outdoor clothing off to Wesolowski. I didn’t think he could improve on Hydra, a book I very much emotionally connected to. However Changeling has taken the series to a whole other level. If he gets any better I’m not sure I can cope! That was definitely a noise I just heard!’ Cramlington Book Club 

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‘The story is horrifyingly believable, and all the more gripping for the fact. As much as the storyline made me want to look away, and the more that was revealed the more the sensation grew, I needed to know what had happened. The author pulls you into the story, then traps you inside. You feel the emotions of the people involved, and you need to know how this is going to turn out, even whilst a part of you really doesn’t want to look. The plot line is superbly handled, crafted in such a masterful way as the reading can link back to things that have been said, putting pieces together even whilst being given new information … If you enjoy a thrilling, fast paced, shocking yet gorgeously written book, then read this. Make it your next read, and you won’t be at all disappointed’ Made Up Book Reviews

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Changeling is by far, my most favourite of the Six Stories books, and I love them all, I mean I REALLY love them. So just know I am not saying that lightly. Changeling got under my skin in a way the others didn’t. The tension and sense of menace is there from the outset. It builds steadily, rolling like waves in a storm, until it crashes around your consciousness and leaves you almost breathless. Hidden and implied horror help to make Changeling a thoroughly bracing read, leaving the reader more than a little unsettled in its wake. Much like the Changeling in old folklore, this book itself goes through a metamorphosis. But the author does this slowly, almost imperceptibly, and it creeps up on you gradually that what you are reading is a little different to what you started reading. What you need to know is this; Changeling is an intense, dark and utterly absorbing book. The pages crackle with tension, the characters have real depth and the writing is truly stunning’

 Bibliophile Book club

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‘Scott King was a bit of an enigma for me in the previous two books and I was desperate to know more about him. Changeling has definitely answered a few of my questions but I can’t say anymore for fear of ruining the story for anyone and this is a book that shouldn’t be missed. Mystery, suspense and intrigue converge across the pages, reeling in the reader like a fish on a hook. The author explores the weight a past can carry and the damage it can do. A startlingly dark, scintillating new episode of Six Stories! Suspenseful. Chilling. Brilliant’

 Ronnie Turner

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Changeling is a deeply unsettling book with a strong folkloric feel as King looks into the seemingly inexplicable stories – both historical and more recent – surrounding Wentshire Forest. One of my favourite things about the novel is that it doesn’t explain everything and leaves some occurrences to the reader’s imagination. This is no fairytale, however, and the descriptions of the strange goings-on in the forest are decidedly creepy. If I’d heard any knocking while reading Changeling, I think I would have jumped out of my skin … There were still some revelations which surprised me but it was the poignant, thought-provoking scenes that I thought were particularly affecting. Changeling is a dark, emotional and honest book and to my mind, the best Six Stories yet. I can’t wait to see where Matt Wesolowski will take Scott King next’ Hair Past A Freckle

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 ‘Changeling has a dark and edgy feel to it, created by the way the writer builds the tension up gripping you so tight, you feel like you’re listening to the podcasts in real time, that your very much part of the story as it evolves. On top of this there are events within the story that cannot be explained, that are out of the ordinary, eerie and spine chilling, that left me feeling so on edge, I kept reading to find a resolution and some explanation. The wonder of this book, is that not only was I wowed by the ending, which resolved questions I had had since book one in the series, but I was left feeling chilled over a week after reading the book … This is bold and clever story telling at its best and it fulfils that much used phrase ‘a must read novel’. I look forward to where Matt Wesolowski’s talents will take us next and I feel confident it will be one heck of a ride’ Books are my Cwtches

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‘Combined with this is an unsettling tale of manipulative behaviour, mistruths and misdirection. Yes, there are ‘supernatural’ undertones, but far more terrifying is the examination of the depths of human behaviour and power. It is an emotional read and I applaud Matt Wesolowski for his considered and thoughtful writing of a tricky and difficult subject matter. He is unafraid to write in unflinching terms yet it is sensitive and respectful. Matt Wesolowski just gets better and better. As a reader it is wonderful to see the development of a writer and in Changeling Matt has really hit his stride. It is challenging, dark and beautifully written and doesn’t shy away from examining difficult subject matter. This is emotive and brave writing and shines a light on an incredibly important issue; crime writing at its absolute best’

 Beverley Has Read

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Changeling is written so matter of factly that you do forget it is only a story. The forest is not really haunted…is it? And when the final episode hits, when you here the final words from Scott, as you wait in anticipation. Mr Wesolowski completely sucker punches you. The air leaves your lungs so quickly you wonder what the hell happened. Was this the plan all along? This is written so deliciously well, it captivated your mind. It takes over you, it consumes you as you are embroiled in the case. It does not let go of you until you begin to experience (in your imagination of course) the tap-tap-tap…wait what’s that noise…I’m sure it was laughter…….I hope it was the wind’ ZooLoos Book Diary

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‘As Changeling is written as a sequence of podcasts I was determined to read the book in audiobook format. What better way to enjoy the podcasts than to have them play out in the format they are intended to be presented? The result – an astonishing and wholly immersive experience … A constant chilling undertone plays over a distressing family drama. Broken people tell their story and it can make for harrowing listening.  Matt Wesolowski has delivered another majestic read. I am blown away by the storytelling in the Six Stories books and I urge everyone to seek them out.  If you listen to podcasts but don’t like to listen to talking books then I believe Changeling could be the book which may change your listening habits.  There is nothing to rival the sheer reading pleasure of losing yourself in the brilliance of a well constructed audiobook.  The Six Stories series is an essential addition to any audiobook library’ Grab this Book

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‘Matt Wesolowski is a genius. End of. That’s how I suggested a blogger wrote their review of Changeling because it’s true and the simplest way of reviewing such a book full of complex ideas and feelings! Obviously that wouldn’t be fair to the author, his books deserve all the praise they get so I’ll try to sum up how much I loved it … Matt Wesolowski has such a talent for presenting a story as horror/supernatural but then totally flipping the genre as you progress through the tale. It is evident from his writing that Matt works with children in care; all his books provide a social commentary on the current issues our children face on a daily basis. Bullying, peer pressure and parental separation feature in all three and what could be more horrific to any child (and indeed adult) than that…?’ Bibliophile Book Club

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‘Matt Wesolowski has written another cracking story with Changeling. Literally, once I started reading this, I couldn’t stop … I really did not expect the direction this book took as the final revelations about the case came to light. Matt Wesolowski took me totally by surprise by the twist, and I’ve spent days thinking about it, especially as I’ve tried a few times to sit down and write this review. I am wondering now how he is going to take the series from here, and I hope there is going to be another book. Changeling is another outstanding addition to this series. The writing will pull you in from the first page, and you won’t be able to stop reading until you find out the truth about what has happened to Alfie’ Hooked from Page One

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‘What struck me about Changeling was the way Matt Wesolowski keeps the creepy, chilling elements of the previous two tales, indeed improves on them … This gives Changeling a different, more haunted, more emotional vibe and leaves you desperate for more. Beautifully plotted, darkly addictive and genuinely unpredictable, Changeling will steal your sleep and leave you melancholy. A multi layered, thought provoking joy to absorb, a novel that hits every mark it aims at, this may be the best yet from Matt Wesolowski and I for one cannot wait to see what is next. True talent tells… Highly Recommended’ Liz Loves Books

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Matt takes part in an author interview with The Tattooed Book Geek 

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‘The different voices and perspectives we hear throughout the book make this a genuine case of six stories for the price of one, as we hear everything from horror story bumps-in-the-night to the more prosaic but equally monstrous human abuse.  There are trigger warnings here for those sensitive to domestic coercion and psychological control … This is a mixture of classic horror, mystery and a deeply intimate and haunting human story of family, love and control, told in a unique, distinctive style that will keep you enthralled whilst reading.  And long after you have put the book down and go about your day, you will tap-tap-tap suddenly find yourself scritchscritchscritch thinking about the story again and tap-tap tap-tap-taptaptapatap wondering…’ Bookshine and Readbows 

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‘What really gets me about this series though is Matt Wesolowski’s talent for taking urban myths, his imagination and knitting them into 300 pages of sheer brilliance, I don’t read these books, I absorb them, they burrow deep under my skin and they stay there long after the last page is turned … Once again Matt Wesolowski beckons you in with the blurb, hooks you with the opening, takes you on a terrifying journey and spits you out a mess at the other end! I just hope you don’t start to hear the tapping…’ Chapter in my Life

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‘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. I’m writing this review having literally just finished the book. I have flown through this book, unable to put it down, desperate to get to the bottom of this mystery. It’s a highly emotive read which challenges the reader to read it without forming an opinion until you get to the end. As a reader, it’s so easy to be drawn into the mystery, reluctantly buying into the paranormal aspect of the novel, seeing no other explanation. This is testament to Wesolowski’s writing skills, which have gone from strength to strength in this series … Orenda Books has a number of brilliantly innovative authors on its books and Matt Wesolowski is up there as one of the best. I hope there will be more Six Stories novels to come’ Segnalibro

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‘These books are dark and I particularly love the way the author tangles in strands of the supernatural, encompassing urban myths and hauntings … This book was everything I hoped it would be – everything I have come to expect from the Six Stories series.  Written entirely in the first person, the characters come alive, their voices heard as they tell their story and for the reader I think this is a unique experience, personally I feel like I am experiencing the podcast. A Brilliant, hard to put down read, with some dark and troubling themes, which the author comments on at the end as these issues are common and hidden in society today. Absolutely recommended by me, personally I would also recommend starting a series at the beginning, but if you don’t I think this would work on its own’

I Loved Reading This

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‘As with the previous two titles, while there is a resolution to the story and we discover some things for sure, there is much left unresolved and thus for the reader to decide. In particular, what to believe of the supernatural? But equally, there’s a huge twist at the end of this novel, unlike any seen in the previous two titles. I shan’t say more, for I don’t want to divulge any spoilers, but needless to say this is a big development not just in the narrative of this title, but in the character arc of Scott King himself … Changeling is a brilliant read that like its predecessors subtly tackles thorny social issues, which are woven adeptly into a psychological horror chiller. It’s a compelling, at times challenging novel, that had me turning the pages to the very end. I can’t recommend this enough, in fact I can’t recommend the series enough, and look forward to whatever Matt Wesolowski decides to write next’ The Crime Novel Reader

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‘Just in case you’ve missed me completely raving about this series in the past, here are my thoughts on Six Stories and HydraChangeling is the third book and while they can all be read as standalones, you really and truly do not want to miss any of them. They’re all so amazing and innovative, completely unlike anything else I’ve read before and they all come highly recommended by me. AND, they get better with each book, they honestly do and this one? I was utterly blown away in the end … Wesolowski creates the most eerie and terrifying atmospheres in his novels and this was no exception. There is a hint of the supernatural surrounding the case, the forest where little Alfie disappeared is somewhat of an urban legend and the stories about the things that are rumored to have happened there are the kind that make your hair stand on end. Then, you have this intricately crafted plot that gets under your skin and the resolution?! Jaw dropping, holy shit, what did I just read moment, the kind you have to read again just to make sure you have it right. This was masterful my friends, do yourself a favor and read this ASAP!’ Novel Gossip

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Changeling easily pulled me in almost as if I was in my own little bubble experiencing everything as it happens. Put it this way whenever I picked it up I didn’t want to stop. With an undercurrent of dark, chilling tension just bubbling away under the surface waiting to pop up and pop up it did! Let’s just say I have been put off going into woods for life!  I really can’t recommend this book enough it has a very special appeal with a little bit of everything to draw the reader in. If you are like me you will feel plenty of emotions while reading Changeling along with being completely on edge just waiting to discover the truth. I felt like I wanted to fly through the pages but also at the same time wanting to savour the story as it unfolded. Rich in detail Matt Wesolowski really sets the scene with a delicious touch of creepiness that I loved! I thought Hydra was a fantastic story but Changeling really excels, I can’t fault it! With folklore, tension and twists along with an ending where I just sat there thinking wow! Changeling is an absolutely amazing story!’ Rae Reads

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‘Matt Wesolowski’s ‘Six Stories’ series are definitely some of the most original and enjoyable books I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing.  This series is cleverly based on a podcast and takes on a new ‘case’ for each book …This is such a wintery read – it’s dark, chilling and extremely atmospheric – you’ll be checking what’s behind the couch after you’ve finished reading it. Changeling is an unforgettable read that I cannot recommend highly enough’ On the Shelf Book Blog

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‘Matt Wesolowski is such a gifted story-teller and wordsmith that it’s always a genuine pleasure to sit down with one of his novels and to be perfectly honest, I don’t want this Six Stories series to ever end … The author manages to capture the drama and the authenticity of real people living normal lives with an other-worldly, more fantastical element … With this latest offering in the Six Stories series, I feel Matt has “tapped” (sorry, couldn’t resist!) into a far more deeper, emotional component of his style which I fully welcomed and embraced. I appreciated the more vulnerable, heart-breaking aspects of the narrative and although it made for incredibly difficult reading at times, it’s all completely worth it by the end, I assure you. I genuinely believe that the brilliance of this series just cannot be rivalled and even potential copy-cats would have a tough job emulating all the aspects that the author manages to bring together to make this such a unique, thought-provoking and unforgettable reading experience. Will there be more? I really do hope so but even if there isn’t, Matt Wesolowski still has an immovable fan in me for whatever he decides to do next’ Bibliobeth

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Changeling is an absolutely incredible book with a different experience, fantastic story and an insane ending. God, the ending. Let’s talk about the story: it’s quite harrowing at times, and I’m a bit of a wimp (I’m honestly not sure why I read so many horrors/ psychologically messed up books), but it builds and builds until the ultimate climax. It will put you on edge. There was one part where I was just holding my breath and reading like 100 words per second, it was unbelievably tense. For about 98% of the book, it isn’t scary. More just ‘what the f* is going on?’ I really loved the whole different points of view concept, whilst still channelling Scott King and his experience of finding out the truth. Big time Bookmark That approval for this. Honestly. I can’t – and won’t – get over this book. Bring on all the other Wesolowski books!’

Bookmark That

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‘Matt Wesolowski’s ‘Changeling’ is a novel of outstanding originality, superb characterisation, clever and thorough plotting and brilliant storytelling. The brilliantly unique podcast narrative pulls you into the story in a way that few others can and you truly do forget that you are reading a work of fiction and not the transcript of an actualshow. Once again, as with Six Stories and Hydra before it, Changeling takes on another cold case from six different perspectives, and explores not only the supernatural forces that may or may not have been involved, but also delves into the very human forces that are far more scary, more frightening and much more disturbing than anything paranormal. Do yourself a HUGE favour and read this book. You don’t need to have read any of the other Six Stories books to enjoy this; they all stand alone, but you would be as crazy as a bag of rabid camels in woollen onesies on a very hot day to not do so. Matt is currently beavering away on the 4th book in the series, so now is a very good time to be a Six Stories fan. Come on, join in!’ Beardy Book Blogger

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‘Apparently, the mystery and creepiness was not the only thing Changeling had to offer. There are extra layers to the book, and the characters that elevates the book to a whole new level. Matt has done a fantastic job of manipulating his readers through the web he has created in his characters and the plot that is so tangled that the reader would end up looking at exactly Matt wants us to look and believe it’s the truth. I am not new to reading Crime thrillers. Been doing it for years together. Yet, when I finished reading the whole story, I felt ashamed for accepting the lies, the cover-ups that had been thrown at me through the chapters and never guessed the actual victims even once. ESPECIALLY THAT INGENIOUS TWIST! Finally, just toward the end I realised how cunning the title is! Matt Wesolowski is now on top of my favorite Crime writers and I am definitely reading more of his ‘Six Stories’’ Syllables of Swathi

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‘Okay, so this isn’t historical BUT thrillers are my other favorite genre and I’ve been dying to read this series from Matt Wesolowski after seeing all of the rave reviews on social media, so I jumped at the chance to join his blog tour … Changeling exceeded all of my expectations! Matt Wesolowski is a damn genius I tell you! A GENIUS! This is the third book in the series and despite not having read the first two books I didn’t feel lost at all. But after reading this I immediately purchased the first two books in eBook. I think I might pick up the whole series in print too because the covers are so cool. Changeling was brilliantly executed! Smart writing, intense suspense, and a fantastic mystery, I was hooked from the first page … And the ending! OMG, the ending! I won’t say more than that, you’re just going to have to read it and find out. I know it’s still super early in the year, but I already know that Changeling will be in my best reads of 2019 list. It was so incredible! Absolutely mind blowing, I highly highly recommend you check this out’ Passages to the Past

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‘With ‘Changeling’, Matt has once again created an equally chilling plot that blurs psychological thriller with a touch of the paranormal, suffice to say you will never look at a wood in the way same again! Through the different stories, he also paints a very thought-provoking insight into the effects of long term psychological abuse and manipulation. I have always found Matt’s unique style of writing to be extremely engaging. In my opinion ‘Changeling’ builds on this. Like the very forest that features as a large and sinister part of the story, he lures you in and keeps the tension building. Several ‘I didn’t see that coming’ moments just serve to make you want to keep turning the page. The final reveal I guarantee will leave you open mouthed and speechless!’ Random Things Through My Letterbox

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‘This really is another brilliant story that I urge you to read. If I were to look at the books in terms of true spine-tingling tension, then Hydra just pips Changeling for me on that score as those black eyed kids would freak anyone out, but I have to say that this book takes a very close, very complex and very cleverly executed second place. Matt Wesolowski has really found his stride and, much like the other books in the series, Changeling is completely unique, with a tight narrative, dominated by unnervingly atmospheric tension and with a magical blend of crime, thriller and (a trace of) horror fiction, that really sets the author out there as one of the most exciting things to happen to crime fiction’

 Jen Meds Book Reviews

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‘Wow! Changeling is a very welcome addition to the already successful Six Stories books and in my opinion this one is the best yet. I absolutely powered through this book and couldn’t put it down until I had finished it and read every single deliciously creepy word. This book really gets under your skin as you try to make sense of it whilst also trying not to be scared senseless by the odd goings on in Wentshire Forest which is where 7 year old Alfie Marsden was last seen by his father… The tension in the book is written brilliantly, you can sense it in every chapter and it really does make you feel slightly scared when you are reading it. You aren’t really what you are about to discover, or if you want to at all … The ending of this book is the real 5 star rating from me. You are left absolutely gobsmacked from the revelations that are discovered. I felt every emotion as I tried to think back on what I had just read. Outstanding. Absolutely first class writing’

 Broad Beans Books

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Changeling took me by the hand and steered me off down an eerie path through the woods, until I was so wound up and involved that a mere tapping noise close by nearly made had me wetting myself! I’m feeling breathless just writing this and recalling the way it made me feel. After all isn’t that what every great should do – make you FEEL the story not just read it. Even though I thought I knew where I was being led, I ended up somewhere even more disturbing! The Changeling is a very clever, manipulative, contemporary tale which captivated and enthralled me. It explores some sinister themes and is thoroughly perplexing throughout’ Beady Jan’s Books

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‘Matt Wesolowski is a brilliantly talented writer who creates an atmospheric and highly addictive storyline that never fails to connect with the reader. I was drawn into the mystery of what happened to Alfie immediately, my scientific brain trying to overlook the supernatural elements and search for a plausible explanation for his disappearance! … Changeling has been one of the best books I’ve read this month and is one that I can’t recommend highly enough! It’s just so beautifully creative and spellbinding that you will want to devour it in one session. And I have to say the ending is absolute perfection. If you’re looking for something unique in your thrillers then you just have to read this book-you can thank me later (or maybe not, if those wood-knockers start tapping on your windows!). Just brilliant!’

 My Chestnut Reading Tree

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‘Matt Wesolowski is a master storyteller, plain and simple. He has the ability to paint a picture with a few well-chosen words … This is an author whose work I can pick up, and regardless of how ridiculously high my expectations are at the start, I never end up disappointed. I’ve been trying to figure out why I love the Six Stories books so much, especially this third instalment and I think it’s because Matt scratches an itch I didn’t even know I had, by adding paranormality to the thriller genre … Just like its predecessors Six Stories and Hydra, Changeling grabs you by the throat from the get-go and you know there’s no going back, there’s no stopping until you know what happened to little Alfie Marsden. And let me tell you this: however thrilling and chilling the ride was (and it was VERY thrilling and chilling!), it was nothing compared to the finale’ From Belgium With Love

 

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‘Every terrifying sentence draws you in, every pause leaves you wanting more and every time I had to turn it on my thoughts were consumed with the story so far until I could listen again.  I was addicted until the very last sentence.  Whilst listening I experienced every emotion known to man from happiness, despair down to petrified and furious.  This book left me exhausted in the most unbelievable and brilliant way … Not enough stars in the world to rate this book and all I can say is read or listen to it!’ Like Herding Cats Blog

 

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This is the third book in the Six Stories series; the first is called Six Stories and the second is called Hydra. I’ve been completely blown away by the entire series. The format is such a great concept: each novel consists of six podcast episodes about a particular crime. Think Serial, then take it up a notch in terms of compulsive listening (or reading) … As I’ve come to expect from Wesolowski, there were some chilling moments and plenty of shocks, and the ending is sublime, but I don’t want to give anything about that away. Each time I’ve finished one of the books in this series, I’ve been unsure whether Wesolowski will be able to pull another one out of the bag that’s as good. But I’m done with that now. I trust him. I think he could keep writing this series, and scaring me half to death, for the rest of his life. And I’m going along for the ride, however many more he comes up with. I suggest you do too’ The Motherload Book Club

Reviews