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.
It’s been two days and I’m still not sure that I am ready to write this review. It’s likely the review will not be a long one – not because I don’t have much to say, I do! but because the more I say the more I will spoil it and because it left me completely without the right words to describe this immensely frightening and emotional book.
I chose to listen to the audiobook for this novel as I felt the narration in podcast style really lent itself to audio and I have to say it is the most amazing audio. Using multi Narration, you follow Scott King as he interviews six key people with some involvement in the case of Alfie Marsden, who disappeared without a trace in 1988 whilst in Wentshire Forest. As he talks to each person, a terrifying story begins to build incorporating the folklore of the forest with the reality of the case. Each character virtually jumps from the player and into the room and the experience is so immersive that you have to remind yourself regularly that it’s not real.
Every terrifying sentence draws you in, every pause leaves you wanting more and every time I had to turn it on my thoughts were consumed with the story so far until I could listen again. I was addicted until the very last sentence. Whilst listening I experienced every emotion known to man from happiness, despair down to petrified and furious. This book left me exhausted in the most unbelievable and brilliant way.
Have you ever read/listened to a book that has stayed with you for days afterwards? This experience (because that what it is) will leave you haunted long after it ends. Not enough stars in the world to rate this book and all I can say is read or listen to it!
Author Bio – Matt Wesowlowski
Matt Wesolowski is an author from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the UK. He is an English tutor for young people in care and leads Cuckoo Young Writers creative writing workshops in association with New Writing North.
Wesolowski started his writing career in horror and was a winner of the Pitch Perfect competition at ‘Bloody Scotland’; Crime Writing Festival 2015. His subsequent debut crime novel ‘Six Stories’ was published by Orenda Books in the spring of 2016 with follow-up ‘Hydra’ published in the winter of 2017.
‘Six Stories’ has been optioned for a TV series by Fox Searchlight and the third book in the series will be available in early 2018.