BEAST | Matt Wesolowski
(Six Stories #4)
02.06.2020 | Orenda Books
Rating: 5/5 stars
Journalist Scott King has returned with another installment of his podcast, Six Stories. This time around he has chosen to focus on a chilling case involving a young woman who was found frozen to death in 2018. During an intense winter storm nicknamed the “Beast from the East”, the small town of Ergarth falls under the spell of an internet challenge called the Dead in Six Days challenge. The focus is on a chain of pranks being sent to those participating. These pranks must be completed and put on YouTube within six days or the participant will be murdered by a vampire.
Twenty-four-year-old vlogger Elizabeth Barton has decided to share seemingly every moment of her participation in this challenge up until the fateful night where she meets her death. Elizabeth was barricaded inside what locals refer to as the “Vampire Tower”, where she is found frozen to death. Three young men believed to be part of a local cult are sentenced with Elizabeth’s murder. Someone in town has sent Scott a message hinting that these individuals may have been wrongly accused. What really happened to Elizabeth Barton?
Matt Wesolowski continues to blow me away with his Six Stories series. Each and every installment in this series has been a five star read for me and BEAST continues on that same trend! What’s not to love about a mysterious death with local vampire lore and a possible cult? I mean that combination basically screams to my dark heart that we’ll be a match made in literary heaven!
What is it that makes me love this series so much? For starters, the format is absolute perfection! The premise is that the reader is following Scott King’s podcast, Six Stories, in which he investigates cases by interviewing six important players to the case to gain insight into their perspectives on what happened. With each new interview or episode the reader is able to gain more details from which to form their opinion about the truth. In BEAST the interviews that kicked off this book gave a ton of backstory into who Elizabeth was and how she was perceived through her internet stardom and her presences in Ergarth. Part of my intense interest in true crime is learning about the victims, so to have this in a work of fiction was a dream!
With each new installment in Wesolowski’s series has come something fresh and unique in the story’s premise. I’m continually impressed by the meticulously detailed and fascinating cases that Wesolowski dreams up! Why just write about the case of a frozen dead girl when it can be so much more? Instead of giving the reader a generic case, Wesolowski adds in a timely element of internet fame to the life of Elizabeth Barton who has gained quite the following as a vlogger. In addition, an interesting level of local vampire lore mixes with this to create a new craze. Who hasn’t heard of internet challenges or watched videos of them? That level of relatability truly works to connect the reader to this story.
It’s so hard for me to write this review because there are a million parts of the story I want to gush about, but I would give away the plot and an amazing experience. Basically, what you need to know is that you need this series in your life ASAP!!
As with any series, I always recommend that you read the books in order, but if you really want to start here this book will work as a standalone. While there are hints about something that happened in the previous installment, you don’t need to know those details to love this book.
Please be sure to check out all of the amazing bloggers heading up this tour!
A huge thank you to Orenda Books for providing me with a free review copy of this book!
Disclosure: What Jess Reads is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This in no way influences my opinion of the above book.