I owe the author, Matt Wesolowski, an apology. He probably put months of effort into Six Stories: Changeling, and I devoured it in a single day. It disappeared as rapidly as a double-pepperoni stuffed-crust deep-pan pizza. I simply wolfed it down, propelled through the pages by its oh-so clever construction, Wesolowski’s storytelling technique, the convincing characters, and the seductive mystery of a missing child told through conflicting perspectives. Delicious. [burp]
This is the third in the Six Stories series, though each book is a standalone story – no need to read the other ones first… although you’re bound to want to fill the gaps once you’ve read Changeling. Like the others, this mystery is revealed by half a dozen parallel perspectives, interviews which gradually reveal the nature and detail of an unsolved criminal investigation. It’s up to the reader – playing the role of the detective – to decide which witness is more credible; who is stretching the truth, who has something sinister to hide. Effectively, every single person is an unreliable narrator – you can’t entirely believe any of them, but you can draw your own conclusions and measure them against an immensely satisfying finale.
I’m a huge fan of this type of storytelling, and especially enjoy Wesolowski’s skill at sneaking myth and superstition into the mix. He makes the ancient woodlands of England feel genuinely threatening. In Changeling, there might indeed be some dread creature lurking in the overgrown forest… something responsible for a frightened mother’s bizarre behaviour, something which stole a troubled little boy. You definitely can’t trust the trees.
In short, Wesolowski has brilliantly updated the traditional English whodunit and dragged it into the modern world. Brilliant title, too!
Reviewed by Rowena Hoseason
Six Stories: Changeling is available at Amazon
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