Beast is a vampire story like no other.
I love how Matt Wesolowski weaves mythical folklore into his best selling Six Stories series to create contemporary, chilling thrillers – and Beast, his fourth and latest novel in the series is no exception. Yet Beast is a chilling social critique with political undertones, skillfully creating a unique and gripping tension within the novel.
Early last year I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to read and review Wesolowski’s previous novel in the series, Changeling – which I loved. So when I was offered the opportunity to review Beast, I jumped at the chance.
In this new novel we are taken back to March 2018 when the freezing cold ‘Beast from the East’ swept over the UK. In Ergarth – a desolate, coastal town in the North East of England, a successful Vlogger Elizabeth Barton is found frozen to death. Her naked body is discovered in Tankerville Tower, a thirteenth-century ruin on the clifftop just outside the town. Tankerville Tower, a local eyesore is known to the Ergarth residents as the Vampire Tower.
It appears that Elizabeth was murdered by three young men known to her. There was no doubt who Elizabeth’s killers were. However it is what the men did to Elizabeth after her death that is shockingly gruesome.
Two years later Elizabeth’s parents discover ‘Who locked Lizzie in the tower?‘ spray painted on their garden wall. This leads elusive online journalist Scott King to delve further into the callous murder.
As Scott digs deeper into the mystery around Lizzie’s death, he is told of the Dead in Six Days Challenge, a ‘fun’ online craze that the young people in Ergarth were doing at the time of Lizzie’s death. Scott also discovers the chilling legend of the Ergarth Vampire, the first ‘Beast from the East.’
I absolutely love Wesolowski’s creation of folklore around the Beast from the East. I found this so creative and clever.
Like the previous novels in the series, Beast is structured as a podcast made up of six separate episodes. In each episode Scott interviews individuals linked to both the victim and the three killers. However I don’t think he is prepared for what he unravels. Even though, in a sense what he reveals occurs in everyday contemporary life, I feel it leaves him chilled to the bone.
Beast is a horror story, but a very clever one that is unfortunately very real.
Thank you to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part in the blog tour to help publicise this chilling book. Thank you also, along with Orenda Books for arranging my advance copy of Beast in return for my honest review.
To read the reviews of my fellow book bloggers also on the blog tour of Beast, please see below.
Happy reading everyone! 🙂
Beast was published on 6th February 2020!