A missing child
A family in denial
Which one is true?
On Christmas Eve in 1988, seven-year-old Alfie Marsden vanished in the dark Wentshire Forest Pass, when his father, Sorrel, stopped the car to investigate a mysterious knocking sound. No trace of the child, nor his remains, have ever been found. Alfie Marsden was declared officially dead in 1995.
Elusive online journalist, Scott King, whose ‘Six Stories’ podcasts have become an internet sensation, investigates the disappearance, interviewing six witnesses, including Sorrel and his ex-partner, to try to find out what really happened that fateful night. Journeying through the trees of the Wentshire Forest – a place synonymous with strange sightings, and tales of hidden folk who dwell there, he talks to a company that tried and failed to build a development in the forest, and a psychic who claims to know what happened to the little boy…
Intensely dark, deeply chilling and searingly thought provoking, Changeling is an up-to-the-minute, startling thriller, taking you to places you will never, ever forget.
Matt Wesolowski is a master storyteller, plain and simple. He has the ability to paint a picture with a few well-chosen words. It’s practically magic. Poof! And you’re there, in the forest, wondering what dwells beneath the branches, wondering what walks unseen between the tree trunks, wondering at that sound you keep hearing. This is an author whose work I can pick up, and regardless of how ridiculously high my expectations are at the start, I never end up disappointed.
I’ve been trying to figure out why I love the Six Stories books so much, especially this third instalment and I think it’s because Matt scratches an itch I didn’t even know I had, by adding paranormality to the thriller genre. Although by the sixth story it’s usually become clear that the explanation is much more mundane than it first seemed, Matt has you wondering the entire time. In Changeling he deftly interlaces a missing child case with fairy lore, which has always fascinated me.
Just like its predecessors Six Stories and Hydra, Changeling grabs you by the throat from the get-go and you know there’s no going back, there’s no stopping until you know what happened to little Alfie Marsden. And let me tell you this: however thrilling and chilling the ride was (and it was VERY thrilling and chilling!), it was nothing compared to the finale. I was cooking while listening to it and it’s a small miracle I didn’t burn down the entire kitchen. Holy crap, but finding out what happened to Alfie was jaw-droppingly good!! I swear, if you figure out that one before the reveal, quit your day job and join the police force, they’ll be happy to have you!
If you’re into audiobooks, do yourself a favour and listen to the Six Stories series. They’re full cast audiobooks, meaning every character is voiced by a different narrator, which makes for a very VERY realistic podcast. You can’t even call it a narration, it is so much more than that. The combination of the voice actors (for they really are actors) and the prose is truly magnificent. The imagery is lifelike.
If you haven’t listened to audiobooks yet, do yourself a favour and use your Audible trial for one of the Six Stories books. Beware: you will start with the very best, top-notch audiobooks and you may end up ruined for all other audiobooks once you move on from this series!
Of the three books so far, Changeling has become my favourite in terms of story, but as an audiobook, Hydra is still my no. 1; I cannot forget Jane Slavin’s Arla, major brownie points for making me cry in my car! (Yeah all in all I’m a tad surprised I’m still alive, listening to Orenda Books is living on the edge my friends ?)
I think it’s safe to assume you can look for Changeling in my Best of 2019 list, in the best audiobook category if nothing else. Chances of finding a more satisfying one are slim to none!
In case I wasn’t clear: very highly recommended!