Beast by Matt Wesolowski – a review Feb 2020
Beast is the latest installment of Six Stories, a podcast lead by elusive online journalist, Scott King. Six Stories looks at cold cases and in this series Scott is looking into the chilling case of the death of a popular shopping vlogger found frozen to death in the local ‘vampire tower’. Elizabeth had been barricaded into the tower during the storm in 2018 (The beast from the east) Three local men had been charged with her death, although they claim it was just a prank gone wrong. Scott speaks to six people who knew Elizabeth. They all give very different stories of the victim and what is was like living in the village at the time. Were the three boys really guilty or is there a different story?
Beast was another absolutely fabulous read that I loved. It is written in a podcast style with six separate ‘episodes’ (or chapters to us old style readers). Each episode is told from the viewpoint of the different people being interviewed by Scott. As the listener learns more about the background of the victim Elizabeth, we are lead deep into a world of social media, where likes and ‘hits’ are felt to be the be all and end all of a person’s worth.
The story is set against the miserable storm of 2018, the village is almost cut off by the weather. This gives the story a sense of bleakness and hopelessness which is a fitting background for a world where people can make a living out of emptying their shopping bag live on camera. I really enjoy the structure of these stories. The chapters whilst not short are easy to read as they flow as though you are listening to it. It is this that really makes this series stand out to me and I really enjoy the structure of the books
The story itself is chilling, unsettling and highly believable. You are drawn into a world that gets more complicated the more we learn and the tangled web of characters all vie for attention and recognition. Elizabeth we hear from via her vlog pages which intersperse the episodes. What I thought was especially interesting is that despite the horrific end she met, she isn’t actually a character that elicits sympathy, in fact it is the people around her who were more deserving.
I cannot recommend this series highly enough. It is a style of writing that appeals to people like me who enjoy stories that draw you in, but macabre enough to make you read through half closed eyes. The Beast is a fantastic novel, however if you haven’t yet read the others in this series you definitely should!
To find out what others’ thought of the Beast visit the other stops on the blog tour, and get your copy of Beast here.