Tuesday 2 February 2021

BLOG TOUR: Deity (Six Stories) - Matt Wesolowski

A shamed pop star
A devastating fire
Six witnesses
Six stories
Which one is true?

When pop megastar Zach Crystal dies in a fire at his remote mansion, his mysterious demise rips open the bitter divide between those who adored his music and his endless charity work, and those who viewed him as a despicable predator, who manipulated and abused young and vulnerable girls.

Online journalist, Scott King, whose ‘Six Stories’ podcasts have become an internet sensation, investigates the accusations of sexual abuse and murder that were levelled at Crystal before he died. But as Scott begins to ask questions and rakes over old graves, some startling inconsistencies emerge. Was the fire at Crystal’s remote home really an accident? Why was he never officially charged? Are reports of a haunting really true?

Dark, chillingly topical and deeply thought-provoking, Deity is both an explosive, spine-chilling thriller and a startling look at how heroes can fall from grace and why we are willing to turn a blind eye to even the most heinous of crimes…

What did I think?

I am completely addicted to Matt Wesolowski's Six Stories books as I absolutely love the podcast format they are written in.  The conversational writing style really feels like the book is speaking to you and it's amazing how clear each individual voice comes across.

With accusations of sexual abuse against a dead popstar, the subject matter is quite dark although it's never too difficult to read as podcaster Scott King doesn't interview anyone who has first-hand details of the abuse.  As Scott interviews six people linked to Zach Crystal it's quite eye-opening to see how one person can be seen in so many different lights.  I guess all famous people have a public and private persona so it must be almost like having a split personality; no wonder their brains get fried sometimes, although I'm not excusing anyone's unsavoury actions.

Following Operation Yewtree, we saw allegations about and convictions of many famous figures from our childhood.  You can't help but think about this when reading Deity as fame really does place rose tinted glasses on fans.  As the news came out I remember being both surprised and unsurprised by some of the accused, purely because of how I perceived them from the face they chose to show the public.  Matt Wesolowski also touches on the guilt we feel for still liking a particular song when the singer is not who we thought they were.  I found this really interesting to consider and could totally relate to it simply because of a particular classic Christmas song that I find myself singing along to then stop midway wondering whether I'm still allowed to like it now that the singer is a convicted sex offender.

I love Scott King's interviews and I sometimes forget that he's fictional; I would definitely subscribe to his Six Stories podcast if it was real.  As facts and opinions are laid out before us, I felt like I was part of the race to uncover the truth and I found myself making various judgements about Zach's guilt along the way.  I flipped so often between guilty and not guilty so I was definitely right at one point or another.

So very relatable and current, Deity is a dark, addictive and shocking thriller that really makes you think about the person behind the idol.  Highly recommended.

I received an ARC to read and review for the blog tour; this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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About the author:

Matt Wesolowski is an author from Newcastle-upon-Tyne in the UK. He is an English tutor for young people in care. Matt started his writing career in horror, and his short horror fiction has been published in numerous UK- and US-based anthologies, such as Midnight Movie Creature, Selfies from the End of the World, Cold Iron and many more. His novella, The Black Land, a horror set on the Northumberland coast, was published in 2013. Matt was a winner of the Pitch Perfect competition at the Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival in 2015. His debut thriller, Six Stories, was an Amazon bestseller in the USA, Canada, the UK and Australia, and a WHSmith Fresh Talent pick, and film rights were sold to a major Hollywood studio. A prequel, Hydra, was published in 2018 and became an international bestseller. Changeling, the third book in the series, was published in 2019 and was longlisted for the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year. His fourth book, Beast, won the Amazon Publishing Readers’ Independent Voice Book of the Year award in 2020.

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