Monthly Archives: January 2020
Beast by Matt Wesolowski
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’… Both a compulsive, taut and terrifying thriller, and a bleak and distressing look at modern society’s desperation for attention, Beast will unveil a darkness from which you may never return…
It only seemed a short time that I read book one of Matt Wesolowski’s Six Stories. Now Matt is back with Beast (Orenda Books) the fourth in the series. If you have not discovered any of the books in the series, it is a fantastic gripping series based on a series of six podcasts as online journalist Scott King investigates true-life crimes. And the fourth in the series is not to be missed.
The winter of 2018 saw a bitterly cold period with snow and ice as the Beast from the East held the country in its icy grip, at the same time a successful Vlogger Elizabeth Barton was taking part in a social media challenge and she has been found dead in the ruin on part of the Northumbrian Coast and in what the locals call the Vampire Tower. It was a shocking discovery for those who found her.
Is the case against three young men who were part of a cult as rock solid as many believe? They were convicted and are now behind bars. But for journalist Scott King this is the perfect case for his true-life crime podcast series. Scott now talks to six people as part of the six podcast series to try and get behind what really happened to Elizabeth Barton the bitterly cold night.
Is there really a vampire stalking this part of the coastline just waiting for her next victim or is this really a case of cold blooded murder? The podcast interviews are gripping. The Beast from the East does not just refer to the snow storms but the Ergarth Vampire who many locals say came from Siberia. So this really is a spooky crime investigation for Scott King.
As the six podcast carry on more and more is known and revealed but then just wait until the final podcast. My mind was blown. For Elizabeth Barton who was taking part in the social media challenge ‘Dead in Six Days’ (except your do not really die) but something sinister happened to Elizabeth and the truth is out there. Beast is chilling and sinister and a novel you cannot leave alone. Brilliantly written with a storyline that will make you want to choke on your coffee. Dare you leave this one alone. Perfect as a standalone but you must read the others after. You will be hooked.
If reading about the Six Podcasts is gripping imagine what the audio book would sound like? One I am going to have to look into.
Matt Wesolowski: @concretekraken
Orenda Books: @OrendaBooks
Thank you to Karen Sullivan (Orenda Books) for the review copy of Beast by Matt Wesolowski
Beast by Matt Wesolowski was published by Orenda Books and will be published on 6th February 2020 and is available to pre-order through Waterstones, Amazon and through your local independent bookshop.
A Silent Death by Peter May
Set in Southern Spain, A Silent Death is the scorching new thriller from worldwide bestselling author of The Lewis Trilogy, Cast Iron and I’ll Keep You Safe.
A SILENT VOW
Spain, 2020. When ex-pat fugitive Jack Cleland watches his girlfriend die, gunned down in a pursuit involving officer Cristina Sanchez Pradell, he promises to exact his revenge by destroying the policewoman.
A SILENT LIFE
Cristina’s aunt Ana has been deaf-blind for the entirety of her adult life: the victim of a rare condition named Usher Syndrome. Ana is the centre of Cristina’s world – and of Cleland’s cruel plan.
A SILENT DEATH
John Mackenzie – an ingenious yet irascible Glaswegian investigator – is seconded to aid the Spanish authorities in their manhunt. He alone can silence Cleland before the fugitive has the last, bloody, word.
I have been a fan of Peter May’s thrillers since the Lewis Trilogy was first released so I was delighted to be asked to review A Silent Death (riverrun) that has just been released in the last few days.
Set in Spain and fugitive Jack Cleland is with his girlfriend and there is a pursuit involving a female police officer and Cleland’s girlfriend is shot and killed during the pursuit. Cleland wants revenge on the policewoman and vows to kill her when he finds her.
Now John Mackenzie a Glaswegian investigator is called upon to help investigate and find Cleland before he exacts his bloody revenge plot. Can Mackenzie find Cleland in time?
Jack Cleland is hell bent on finding Christina the policewoman and beyond mad enough to carry out his vendetta. The pace is hotter than the Spanish sun and the killer is cold enough to believe his own mindless thoughts that the policewoman is responsible. But there is something else in the plot, Christina’s aunt Ana who is both deaf and blind and is now part of Cleland’s mindless and cruel plan. But do not underestimate Ana as she is strong and clever. Mackenzie has to find the ex-pat fugitive before he strikes.
If you have read any of Peter May’s previous thrillers, then you are in for a real treat. This is a fast paced thriller and a real page turner that you will be hooked by the plot and storyline.
I read A Silent Death over Christmas and loved it. This is a standalone thriller and I am delighted to recommend to anyone who enjoys a well-paced thriller.
Thank you to Martina Ticic (Midas PR) for the review copy of A Silent Death by Peter May.
A Silent Death by Peter May was published by riverrun and was published on 9th January 2020 and is available through Waterstones, Amazon and through your local independent bookshop.
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The Choice by Claire Wade
Everything you ate was monitored by the government.
Every step you took was counted.
Your children were weighed every day at school.
Neighbours reported on neighbours and no one was safe from judgement.
Sugar was illegal, and baking was a crime.
Imagine if that world was here… What would you do?
Toe the line or fight for your freedom…
Imagine a time in the future when sugar has been made illegal. Imagine all those wonderful sweet things we have come to love that would be no more. Welcome to the superb debut novel The Choice (Orion) by Claire Wade.
In all my years of reading I have never come across a dystopian novel based around the banning of sugar. Just how was this going to play out. I am so pleased the publisher sent be a review copy of The Choice as it turned out to be a brilliantly written novel.
The UK is now run by a government that has decided to ban all baking and will make the UK a fit and healthy country again. We meet Olivia Pritchard who is a baker and she is a baker who loves baking. Now the UK is rum by Mother Mason is hell bent on health and happiness. Olivia is living in constant fear of being found out. If you are found out god help you.
I just loved the way Claire Wade drew the reader into the storyline and it does become a frightening storyline as you really understand Mother Mason’s regime and what she demands from her public. How disturbing it really became. Imagine just how one person who can come to power and effect the lives of those in the country and take them to the very edge before the country rises up against the government. This may be a novel about banning sugar and baking but there is a stronger message for us all her about who we choose to run our countries in our name and how quickly it can become a dangerous path. A novel that at times just makes you angry but one novel that you are so aborbed in that you just want more.
I could never allow any country to stop me eating chocolate. I certainly would rise up. The Choice by Claire Wade is just stunning and very readable.
Thank you to Alainna Hadjigeorgiou (Orion Publishing Group) for the review copy of The Choice by Claire Wade.
The Choice by Claire Wade was published by Orion and was published on 26th December 2019 and is available through Waterstones, Amazon and through your local independent bookshop.
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