I can safely say I have never read a book quite like Hydra by Matt Wesolowski.
Which is a shame, because it’s mesmerisingly and disorientatingly brilliant.
It’s a standalone sequel to Wesolowski’s Six Stories (which I haven’t read – though I definitely want to now), told in the style of six podcasts by investigative journalist Scott King as he tries to unpick the story behind a family massacre. He first interviews the disturbed Arla Macleod, who bludgeoned to death her family one winter night, and then five people connected to Arla.
The identity of the murderer is never ever in doubt, so this isn’t a whodunnit. Well, it’s not quite a whodunnit. The skill of the book lies in the unveiling of increasingly spooky and unsettling events in the build up to the murders, and a growing sense of danger to Scott King as he uncovers new information about Arla’s past.
It’s cleverly and compellingly done.
For anyone thinking of reading it, I have one major piece of advice: don’t read the first podcast at midnight after a long day at work, with rain lashing down outside and ivy tapping on the window pane. That is one sure fire way of leaving you terrified, wide awake, eyes peeping out from the top of the duvet, desperately hoping no-one comes a-knocking at the door.
I did not sleep well.
But I learnt my lesson and made sure I read the rest of the book well before my bedtime.
Hydra is a creepy and addictive story told in a fresh way. It’s absolutely worth a read.
Perhaps, though, in daylight hours only.