Changeling by Matt Wesolowski


Hands up if tapping, knocking or any unexplained noise now freaks you out?

“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…”

For those that don’t know, Changeling is book three in the ‘Six Stories’ series (book number one being Six Stories and book number two being Hydra). Changeling follows a similar format to books one and two in that journalist Scott King picks a cold case and attempts to ‘rake over old graves’ by interviewing six different people somehow connected to the event – very brilliant, original, modern format. Was that someone tapping?

Whereas you could get away with reading Changeling first, I do recommend you read books one and two beforehand to get the most out of the twists and turns in Changeling. Trust me, you won’t regret it.

I have said in previous posts that Six Stories and Hydra were perfect books for Young Adults stepping up in to the adult genre. Despite a slight Blair Witch feel, this is not so with Changeling. Its themes of drink, drugs and abuse are definitely adult. Oh, and it’s a bit scary! Was that a knock I just heard?

As Six Stories and Hydra show, Wesolowski knows how to pick a perfect title. Changeling, a creature from folklore believed to be a fairy who replaces a real child stolen away in infancy. What is the reason Alfie’s behaviour suddenly changes? What exactly is lurking in the woods? Who made that noise?

Whereas I won’t give anything away about the plot the ending BLEW MY MIND. I had goose bumps, I gasped out loud, I had tears in my eyes, my eyes almost popped out of my head (OK the last one was an exaggeration but the previous ones not so.) It was just bloody brilliant. For the first time ever I wanted immediately to turn back to page one and re-read. I’m still recovering now a week or so after. From the sucker punch Wesolowski delivered.

Hats off, scarves off, gloves off and just about every other item of outdoor clothing off to Wesolowski. I didn’t think he could improve on Hydra, a book I very much emotionally connected to. However Changeling has taken the series to a whole other level. If he gets any better I’m not sure I can cope! That was definitely a noise I just heard!