A family massacre
A deluded murderess
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.
Author: Matt Wesolowski
Publisher: Orenda Books
Release Date: 15/11/2017
Series: Six Stories #2
My Chosen Format: Kindle
My Rating of ‘Hydra’ 5 out of 5
Purchase: Amazon UK, Amazon US, Audible UK, Audible US
Hydra is the second book in Matt Wesolowski’s ‘Six Stories’ series and follows the same episodic, podcast-style format as book one. In this one, gone is the mystery behind who perpetrated the crime or precisely how it happened. We know both of those things. Hydra features a more psychological approach and asks why it happened rather than who did it.
This approach, one where all mystery of the perpetrator is absent struck me as the sort of book I’d not enjoy. I mean … what’s a crime/thriller novel without a bit of mystery? As it turns out, Hydra, and the whole situation surrounding Arla Macleod has an awful lot to keep you turning the pages. So much so that you cease to care that there’s no crime to solve. This time there’s a deeply fractured mind to understand and figure out.
Getting to delve into said fractured mind and relive her past through 6 different perspectives makes for captivating reading.
The parts in between chapters feature more around Scott this time than in book one and are interesting to the point that I found myself speeding through the chapters to get to them. Those parts provide you with the mystery that the main story is lacking and, despite the fact that I had the obvious clues, I found myself unable to put my finger on the right answer. So I loved that and look forward to more of such things in book three.
The style in which the books in this series are told make every new point of view character take on a whole new level of interest than characters might in other books. The fact that you know you only get to spend one chapter with them adds to this.
I very much enjoyed the faint leanings towards the paranormal (Black Eyed Kids are one of my favourite phenomena) and the detail the author goes into as far as working such things into a real life situation and making them believable. It’s no easy thing to walk the line between the possible and the ludicrous, let alone blend them in such a seamless way.
The only negative to owning all four of these books is how fast I’m likely to get through them 😦
If you couldn’t tell due to the lack of any negative comments: highly recommend Hydra, and the series in general, to anyone.