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The Wartime Book Club by Kate Thompson #Review

  The Wartime Book Club is a marvellous historical novel set on Jersey in World War Two. Written by Kate Thompson , it was published by Hodder $ Stoughton on February 13th. Jersey, 1943. Once a warm and neighbourly community, now German soldiers patrol the cobbled streets, imposing a harsh rule on the people of the island. Grace La Mottée, the island's only librarian, is ordered to destroy books which threaten the new regime. Instead, she hides the stories away in secret. Along with her headstrong best friend, postwoman Bea Rose, she wants to fight back. So she forms the wartime book club: a lifeline, offering fearful islanders the joy and escapism of reading. But as the occupation drags on, the women's quiet acts of bravery become more perilous - and more important - than ever before. And, when tensions turn to violence, they are forced to face the true, terrible cost of resistance . . . Based on astonishing real events, The Wartime Book Club is a love letter

Changeling by Matt Wesolowski #BlogTourReview

I am delighted to be on the Orenda Blog Tour to celebrate the launch of Matt Wesolowski's latest Six Stories Episode, Changeling. I have reviewed the first two in the series and you can read my reviews here: Six Stories  |  Hydra

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.

                                                                                    My Thoughts

 This is the third in the brilliant series of Six Stories Episodes where an investigative reporter presents a cold case through six podcast episodes. The format is superb as you get to discover more about the story as each podcast centres on a different protagonist. You end up with a 360 degree view. The podcast format must give the audiobook versions an extra frisson. 

    For me, Changeling is reminiscent of the first in the series, Six Stories as it has a very strong sense of place. There can't be many more terrifying places than the Wentshire Forest Pass and the creaking trees and shadowy paths seem to be complicit in whatever happened there when the little boy disappeared. As Scott interviews each new person, you realise that first impressions are not necessarily accurate and what you see might not be the whole story. Without wanting to be deliberately coy about the issues dealt with, for the sake of potential readers, I cannot go into details. However, suffice to say that there are some surprising and current aspects which emerge. I do feel that the story is a wonderful amalgamation of hints of traditional fables and up to the minute, modern writing. This unsettles and disturbs to an amazing degree. The truth is hiding out of sight, like the trees which seem to tap at the windows. 

In short: The stuff of nightmares.
                                                                              About the Author

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.

You can follow Matt here  Twitter, Facebook|   Goodreads 
Book link: Amazon UK
Thanks to Karen Sullivan, Anne Cater and Orenda Books for a copy of the book and a place on the Blog Tour!

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