Series: Six Stories #3
Published by Orenda Books on November 15, 2018
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On Christmas Eve in 1988, seven-year-old Alfie Marsden vanished in the Wentshire Forest Pass, when a burst tyre forced his father, Sorrel, to stop the car. Leaving the car to summon the emergency services, Sorrel returned to find his son gone. 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, his son and his ex-partner, to try to find out what really happened that fateful night. He takes a journey 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 where Alfie is…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.
‘Bold, clever and genuinely chilling with a terrific twist that provides an explosive final punch’ Deidre O’Brien, Sunday Mirror
‘A genuine genre-bending debut’ Carla McKay, Daily Mail
‘Impeccably crafted and gripping from start to finish’ Doug Johnstone, The Big Issue
‘With a unique structure, an ingenious plot and so much suspense you can’t put it down, this is the very epitome of a must-read’ Heat
Wow!!!!! Where do you begin with writing a review for a book like this! I will never EVER have the words for it. But OH MY GOD OH MY GOD and OH MY GOD, even they do not cover it! I still need to write my review for Six Stories and finish Hydra but to date, this book was the most epic.
It is all the buzzwords you can think of amazeballs, fantastic, epic, twisty, spooky, creepy and did I say AMAZING!!!
With the disappearing of little Alfie Marsden occurring in 1988, no one knows what happened that day, until someone contacts Scott King with some new information to look into the mystery for his podcast. But who is this unknown person? Can they be trusted? He then sets out to try and solve this mystery which is not like him, where normally he lets the story be told. So what makes this case so different?
The research in this book to do the Changeling, fairies, haunted woods was fantastic. But also, more importantly, the domestic abuse and the controlling nature of someone all have been researched in so much detail. This story was a heartbreaking one with the disappearance of Alfie. but Changeling focuses more on the people surrounding the mysterious circumstance and the folklore of the woods.
I read this in two sittings, I started this in the evening, on my own in the dark, as you do and read the chapter about the workman and site at Wentshire Forest, my god did it freak me out!! With all the tapping and evil laughing, I could picture being there. It doesn’t help that I live right by some woods, the weather when reading was windy! And there was a lot of rain, so much that when it stopped there was a tapping sound! So when the workers were experiencing the tap-tap-tap outside the window of the Portakabin, I felt like hiding under the duvet as I had the same tap-tap-Tap sound!! Any chapter which was about the woods for some reason just reminded me of the Blair Witch project, hearing sounds and seeing things but not quite sure who or what was out there.
Although as I said the story is about Alfie, it is not only about him. This forest is the crux of the book, it enables the readers to get lost in the supernatural, the folklore and the Changeling, enabling you to use that as an excuse to what happens in six stories. It is also used to reiterate the control that it has on people, and it mirrors the behaviour and controlling issues of one of the characters. It amplifies it. It is the unsaid thing in both scenarios that say so much more than what is said. A look or an innocent hand-holding means more than outright abuse. The fear of what is going to happen, same with the woods, the unknown of where the sounds are coming from and what will happen next!
The idea of a podcast to tell the stories is absolutely epic! When I listened to Six Stories (review to follow), I didn’t know what to expect so when you listening you didn’t feel like it was a book, make believe I thought and felt that these were real podcasts. I had to google it to check, Mr Wesolowski’s writing does this to you. His storytelling, done via the podcasts, make you feel like you are working with Scott King trying to work out the clues and try and get closure one each case. It grips you like nothing I have ever known. It is so clever in how it feeds you the information, letting you become devoured by the words before spitting you out and saying goodbye! You are left in a puddle of mess trying to work out what you just read. Are there forces in play here?
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….
Until next time (if there is one) xxx
Thank you so much to Anne at Random Things Tours for the tour invite and the author for a copy of this book in return for my honest and unbiased review
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