Hydra by Matt Wesolowski – A Book Review



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.
Author: Matt Wesolowski
Publisher: Orenda Books
Release Date: 15/11/2017
Pages: 320
Series: Six Stories #2
Genre: Thriller
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.

14 thoughts on “Hydra by Matt Wesolowski – A Book Review

  1. This really does sound incredibly interesting! I love stories such as these to be honest, and you being so enthusiastic about this one, only has gotten me more interested in checking this series out. Probably no real surprise here, but I’m adding it to my to read list😊

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This sounds really interesting! You’re selling this very well, and despite the fact that I really wasn’t interested at the beginning, now my resolve is kinda breaking… 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m so pleased that you enjoyed Hydra! Like you, I enjoyed the leanings towards the paranormal. BEKs terrify me and the scene in which Arla sees those two kids at the back door in the middle of the night absolutely chilled me. Reading things like that makes me glad that I live in a second floor flat. No BEKs are gonna be looking through my windows at night 😂 The thing I like about Hydra is how readers are left to decide for themselves whether or not paranormal forces are at play. I really need to buy Beast and give that a read, but I’m also worried about how fast I’m going to finish the series 😭

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I THINK Beast might still be on sale for 99p on the Kindle. Could be wrong, though. Not that that helps if you want a physical copy.

      Absolutely agree, the whole ‘is it supernatural or not’ is a really good aspect of this. That was a freaky scene and, unlike you, I live alone in a two bed house. Any time there’s a knock at night, I’ll be wondering 😂


      You were totally right about Changeling.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Despite the fact I’m rapidly running out of shelf space, I do tend to favour physical copies. I did just check on World of Books, though, and it’s there for £5.99. I told myself I wasn’t going to buy any more books for a while, but I can’t say no to that price 😂 Also, I just saw that there’s a new Six Stories book out in December! Probably old news, but I had no idea until just now. Plus it’s being released on 18th. What a Christmas present!
        Oh god, that sounds awful 😂 As long as you don’t answer the door you should be fine 😂
        Can’t wait to read your review for Changeling!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I had no idea there was one due out in December! You’ve literally made my day!

        Had a look at World of Books and, for 2nd hand books, a lot of them are quite expensive 😦 some aren’t too far off full price. I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for bargains, though.

        Liked by 1 person

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