A missing child.
A family in denial.
Six witnesses. Six stories.
Which one is true?
Bold, clever and genuinely chilling with a terrific twist that provides an explosive final punch’ Deirdre O’Brien, Sunday Mirror, on Six Stories
PUBLICATION DATE: 24 JANUARY 2019 | PAPERBACK ORIGINAL | £8.99 | ORENDA BOOKS
‘Wonderfully horrifying … the suspense crackles’ James Oswald
‘Wonderfully atmospheric. Matt Wesolowski is a skilled storyteller with a unique voice. Definitely one to watch’ Mari Hannah
‘Original, inventive and brilliantly clever’ Fiona Cummins
On Christmas Eve in 1988, seven-year-old Alfie Marsden vanished in the dark Wentshire Forest Pass, when his father, Sorrel, stopped the car to investigate a mysterious knocking sound. 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 and his ex-partner, to try to find out what really happened that fateful night. Journeying 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 what happened to the little boy…
Intensely dark, deeply chilling and searingly thought-provoking, Changeling is the latest in the critically acclaimed, international bestselling Six Stories series, written as six Serial-style podcasts, and which are being adapted for TV by a major US studio.
Alfie Marsden, a seven year old boy vanishes on Christmas Eve in 1988 in the Wentshire Forest. He is never seen or heard from again. It has been thirty years and the case of the missing boy has been filed away as a cold case still yet unsolved. What happened to Alfie? Did someone have something to do with his disappearance or is something more sinister and evil at play in Wenstshire Woods?
Scott King, a podcaster who investigates cold cases, is sent a letter asking for him to take a look into the Alfie Marsden cold case. Here begins a series of six stories delving into the case. Will Scott be able to solve the case or will Alfie’s disappearance still remain a mystery.
When I first started reading Changeling by Matt Wesolowsky, I was not sure what I was getting myself into especially since the story reads as if it is a true crime podcast. This is not something that I normally read or even see in fiction books. I am a huge fan of documentaries and true crime television, so I went in with the feeling that this story would be along those lines. I never expected that I would be sucked into such an eerie spine chilling story surrounding the disappearance of Alfie Marsden. Not only do we delve into the story of Alfie but we also learn about the folklore surrounding the Wentshire Forest. I must say, I had chills and goosebumps up and down my arms. At one point my dog started walking and all I heard was “tap tap tap” and I jumped out of my chair. Yes, it is that spooky!
Wesolowsky really has a knack for drawing you into the story and while at first I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy the format, I found myself glued to the pages right from the start and didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything from a traditionally written story. The mystery really kept me guessing and even though I had some ideas of my own as to what happened to Alfie, I was utterly shocked on how it was played out. The twists in this story were brilliantly and masterfully done.
Although this is book three in the Six Stories series, it can definitely be read as a standalone. I am kicking myself right now from not hearing about this series sooner. I am definitely going to be reading the previous two books as The Changeling is a five star read and based on this book alone, I am more than sure the previous two books will be just as great as this one.
The Changeling is an intense and eerily spooky story that really delves into parts unknown with the lore of the forest and parts true crime centering around Alfie that is at best chilling and frightening all at the same time. I encourage you, if you have never heard of this series, to go out and purchase The Changeling. The uniqueness of this story will blow you away! I thoroughly enjoyed this story and may even have a little trouble sleeping with the lights off tonight!
Matt Wesolowski is an author from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the UK. He is an English tutor for young people in care. Matt started his writing career in horror, and his short horror fiction has been published in numerous UK- an US-based anthologies such as Midnight Movie Creature, Selfies from the End of the World, Cold Iron and many more. His novella, The Black Land, a horror story set on the Northumberland coast, was published in 2013. Matt was a winner of the Pitch Perfect competition at Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival in 2015. His debut thriller, Six Stories, was an Amazon bestseller in the USA, Canada, the UK and Australia, and a WH Smith Fresh Talent pick, and TV rights were sold to a major Hollywood studio. A prequel, Hydra, was published in 2018 and became an international bestseller.
FURTHER PRAISE FOR MATT WESOLOWSKI
‘A genuine genre-bending debut’ Carla McKay, Daily Mail
‘Wesolowski’s debut, Six Stories, had the ingenious idea of using a true-crime podcaster as its sleuth. [Hydra] sees the return of Scott King, here investigating why a young woman bludgeoned three members of her family to death. Thanks to Wesolowski’s mixture of supernatural elements and first-class plotting, this is one of the most addictive of new crime novels’ Jake Kerridge, Sunday Express
‘Wesolowski evokes the ominous landscape and eerie atmosphere of the area with sharp, direct prose … there is more than a whiff of modern horror here, and The Blair Witch Project feels like a touchstone, but the meat of the story is the typically fractious and fraught relationships between the teenagers struggling to find their place in the world and their role within society. Impeccably crafted and gripping from start to finish’ Doug Johnstone, 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