By Matt Wesolowski
Publisher: Orenda Books
Kindle ASIN: B01MXTCYE9
1997. Scarclaw Fell. The body of teenager Tom Jeffries is found at an outward bound centre. Verdict? Misadventure. But not everyone is convinced. And the truth of what happened in the beautiful but eerie fell is locked in the memories of the tight-knit group of friends who embarked on that fateful trip, and the flimsy testimony of those living nearby.
2017. Enter elusive investigative journalist Scott King, whose podcast examinations of complicated cases have rivalled the success of Serial, with his concealed identity making him a cult internet figure. In a series of six interviews, King attempts to work out how the dynamics of a group of idle teenagers conspired with the sinister legends surrounding the fell to result in Jeffries’ mysterious death. And who’s to blame…
As every interview unveils a new revelation, you’ll be forced to work out for yourself how Tom Jeffries died, and who is telling the truth. A chilling, unpredictable and startling thriller, Six Stories is also a classic murder mystery with a modern twist, and a devastating ending
Making rounds among some of my favorite bloggers, Six Stories was quickly establishing a reputation and catching eyes. So it wasn’t long after I found myself desiring a good mystery that I decided to take the plunge and explore exactly what the commotion was about. I approached with two questions in mind:
- Would Six Stories live up to its newfound status?
- Could Matt Wesolowski actually pull off what promised to be a very distinct and original narration?
Short answer: Yes and Yes.
Six Stories explores the mystery surrounding the death of a young man named Tom Jeffries whose body was discovered a year after he disappeared during a camping trip. With no answers or evidence, his demise it ultimately ruled an accident. But somewhere hidden among all of the unanswered questions lies the truth.
“After initial examination of the surrounding woodlands, the perimeters if the search were extended…. After twelve hours, Tom Jeffries’ body had still not been found. After twenty-four hours, the search perimeters were widened further….. No arrests were made.”
It is the chosen path to revelation that makes Six Stories so exceptionally clever and claims its deserved time in the spotlight. Narrated through a series of six interviews provided over the course of six podcast sessions, we are presented with an entourage of somewhat relatable yet at times unreliable individuals. One of which holds the missing piece of the puzzle surrounding Tom’s death.
The author has successfully inserted a full podcast into a book, and it goes off without a hitch! What transpires next is a complex tale delivered through multiple point of views, as each interviewed individual is forced to remember and explore the events leading up to Tom’s disappearance.
Six Stories effectively builds the tension as each session takes the reader deeper into the lives of all who were affected. It brilliantly combines elements of friendship, innocence, rejection, and torment to present a story that explores humanity to a rather large extent. I want to also note here that I have a profound admiration for the author’s ability to address the relevant topic of bullying and the consequences throughout this book.
The writing is immersive and inviting. The world constructed is tangible and unnervingly familiar. The final unveiling is a startling reminder that evil does exist. Wesolowski takes traditional murder mystery and turns it into the remarkable. Once you enter Scarclaw Fell you will never truly leave again.
“There’s magic here between the trees.”
Honestly recommend this one for all. Enjoy!