A family massacre. A deluded murderess. Five
witnesses. Six Stories. Which one is true?
One cold November night in 2014, in a small town in the northwest of England, 21-year-old Arla Macleod bludgeoned her mother, stepfather 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 key witnesses and Arla herself, as he questions whether Arla’s responsibility for the massacre was as 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 kids, whose presence seems to extend far beyond the delusions of a murderess… Dark, chilling and gripping, Hydra is both a classic murder mystery and an up-to-the-minute, startling thriller that shines light in places you may never, ever want to see again.
Matt Wesolowski is 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- and US-based anthologies such as Midnight Movie
Creature Feature, Selfies from the End of the World, Cold Iron and many more. His novella, The Black Land, a horror 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 WHSmith Fresh Talent pick, and film rights were sold to a major Hollywood studio..
Praise for Matt Wesolowski
‘Weolowski 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
… impeccably crafted and gripping from start to finish’ Doug Johnstone, Big Issue
‘Bold, clever and genuinely chilling with a terrific twist that provides an explosive final punch’ Deidre
O’Brien, Sunday Mirror
‘A genuine genre-bending debut’ Carla McKay, Daily Mail
‘A new style of mystery, one that encapsulates the twenty-first century, the Internet, and social media
… a dazzling fictional mystery’ Foreword Reviews
‘A slim volume rich in nuances and filled with deep passion for folklore and myths. In this spooky and
eerie debut Matt Wesolowski introduces a very interesting contemporary concept of narrative
structure which keeps the readers on their toes’ Crime Review
‘This is one of the best novels I’ve read this year, perhaps in memory’ Nudge Books
‘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
‘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
‘Dark, mysterious and definitely not without elements of horror, I was more than a little unsettled while
I read it. A genre-bending book, with some hauntingly threatening prose … I could not put it down.
Highly recommended!’ Bibliophile Book Club
‘A stunning piece of writing – chock full of atmosphere, human insight and beautiful writing. Take a
note of this guy’s name. He’s going to be huge!’ Michael J. Malone
‘Sharp as a butcher’s knife, cutting straight through to the nerve of its reader. A read-in-one-sitting
experience that will surely inspire many authors to explore new methods of narration’ Bleach House
‘Pulsating with life, with characters who are so incredibly realistic and a plot that is both haunting and
terrifying, Six Stories is bang up to the minute, relevant and fresh. An absolute triumph and highly
recommended’ Random Things through My Letterbox
‘Current, fresh and skilfully delivered … Matt Wesolowski has built up a dark, atmospheric setting with
his vivid descriptive prose. The voices were so distinctive that I felt like I was listening to a podcast
rather than simply reading the transcript’ Off-the-Shelf Books
‘A quirky, but extremely well-written thriller set around the imagined Scarclaw Fell in Northumberland.
Six Stories scores extremely well in the dialogue and authenticity of the interviews … a very clever
concept’ Trip Fiction