Book Title: Hydra
Author: Matt Wesolowski
REVIEWED BY: DENNIS
Series: Six Stories #2
Genres: Crime Fiction, Mystery, Suspense
Pub Date: 06/01/18
One cold November night in 2014, in a small town in the north west of England, 26-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 Children, whose presence extends far beyond the delusions of a murderess.
Matt Wesolowski, you really have a niche for the crime-fiction genre. I am so surprised that you were able to take the dynamic of Six Stories and be able to mold that into a complete and original new story for Hydra . From what I’m told, Hydra is the prequel to Wesolowski’s series debut, however you don’t need to read either book first as they are more like cousins of each other. I highly recommend reading Six Stories first because it sets up the writing style and dynamic of the series, while Hydra grows from that and strengthens it. In this follow-up, Scott King is back and ready to investigate the Macleoud family massacre with a series of podcast interviews with people attached to either the murderer or the family. As usual with Scott’s podcast, the decision is up to you to interpret. He leaves no agenda on how the story takes place—everything is at face value. I won’t get too much more into detail about the plot because I highly recommend going into this series without any spoilers.
I was hesitant in picking up Hydra so quickly after reading Six Stories, but I was told that I’d be a fool to not immediately jump at the chance at reading what is sure to be a major hit in the United States. Hydra is an expertly crafted follow-up to Six Stories and I am so glad that I had a chance to review this story (Thanks Orenda!). Hydra differs from Six Stories in that we focus immediately on the action from page 1. It isn’t your typical slow-burn in a sense that you only find out bits and pieces as the story goes on—you are provided pivotal information early on, and the story doesn’t deviate too much from that focus. I really was hooked in right from the beginning, whereas in most thrillers, I need to read at least a quarter into the story to decide if it’s going to be for me. For most of my time reading Hydra this was a no-doubt 5 star read for me. As the story progressed, I was somewhat disappointed in one or two of the guests that were chosen to speak about the Macleoud family massacre because I wanted to know more about this story! Gimme more information Mr. King! However Wesolowski, as always, loves to throw us a curveball, and I was completely in shock by the end of this story. Matt, can I call you Matt? Matt, I am telling you right now—that ending was eye-opening. I need to know more about this plot development (um hello spinoff). It really caught me off-guard and I was pleasantly surprised. Now I just need to wait for book 3! I mean, if there’s a book 3, but there better be!