Page Count 320
Publication date December 2019/ Publisher Orenda
Elusive online journalist Scott King examines the chilling case of a young vlogger found frozen to death in the legendary local ‘vampire tower’, in another explosive episode of Six Stories…
In the wake of the ‘Beast from the East’ cold snap that ravaged the UK in 2018, a grisly discovery was made in a ruin on the Northumbrian coast. Twenty-four-year-old vlogger, Elizabeth Barton, had been barricaded inside what locals refer to as ‘The Vampire Tower’, where she was later found frozen to death.
Three young men, part of an alleged ‘cult’, were convicted of this terrible crime, which they described as a ‘prank gone wrong’. However, in the small town of Ergarth, questions have been raised about the nature of Elizabeth Barton’s death and whether the three convicted youths were even responsible.
Elusive online journalist Scott King speaks to six witnesses – people who knew both the victim and the three killers – to peer beneath the surface of the case.
So on Christmas eve eve, feeling a little sorry for myself since I’d contracted a particularly ugly flu strain from my partner, I decided to crack open Beast– the fourth novel in the Six Stories series created by Weslowski.
These books are formatted as a podcast, which isn’t typically something I enjoy, but I ADORE Six Stories and after the explosive ending of Changeling I am excited to see where MC Scott King takes us next.
Straight away I know I’ve picked this at a perfect time, the freezing cold setting matches the season and I remember The Beast Of The East storm well- this is going to be the creepiest story yet!
I love how the Six Stories novels always tie in neatly with true and current events, Beast centres around the fictional ‘DISD’ challenge but by incorporating real world examples such as ‘Momo’ Wesolowski elevates the feasibility of his story.
In fact, I always learn things about modern day social media and slang when I read Wesolowski, he does makes me feel a little old sometimes! So I now know the meaning of orbiters and that the term ‘flying monkeys’ is used for superfan trolls.
By having Scott King give an intro and outro to each of his six interviews Wesolowski does a brilliant job of ratcheting the suspense. I’m so impatient, I hate any kind of repetition but these little monologues are written in a way that has me screaming aloud ‘Just tell me what happened!’ with excitement rather than impatience. I found it fun watching Scott unravel the possibilities and hypothesising alongside his character.
I did guess the true culprit(s?) before the reveal but it didn’t detract from the experience at all. If anything I was wishing I could tell Scott what I’d deduced, as if I was sleuthing with him!
I enjoyed my dislike of the characters in Beast, I found my disdain and lack of sympathy for them gave me a sense of allegiance to Scott King. His character development over the previous four novels has been joyous and guarantees I will return eagerly to the Six Stories series for as long as Matt wishes to write them. Long may it be!