An Episode of Six Stories
A shamed pop star
A devastating fire
Which one is true?
[ About the Book ]
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 rake over old graves, some startling inconsistencies emerge: Was the fire at Crystal’s remote home really an accident? Are reports of a haunting really true? Why was he never officially charged?
[ My Review ]
Deity by Matt Wesolowski will be published with Orenda Books in ebook format December 18th and in Original Paperback format February 18th 2021. Described as ‘dark, chillingly topical and deeply thought-provoking…both an explosive thriller and a startling look at how heroes can fall from grace and why we turn a blind eye to even the most heinous of crimes…’ this is the fifth book in this series that has really grabbed the imagination of many readers. Based around a podcast, each book highlights an unsolved mystery, a tragedy that, for whatever reason, remained without resolution. Scott King is the genius behind these rather unique recordings and, by now, has gained a reputation for delivering the truth, with an expectation that it will be done with a fair and balanced approach, giving a platform to many on all sides. Scott King refers occasionally to past individuals who he crossed paths with and who do surface again but it does not impact the reading or enjoyment of this book in any way.
Matt Wesolowski has created something very original and unique with Six Stories. A simple concept, he has truly managed to make it his own with a unique approach to the telling of the tale. When you pick up a book in the series, you know the basics of what awaits you. Scott King will interview six different people over a number of weeks. He will let them each have a platform. He will not try to inflict his own personal beliefs on the interviewee, remaining relatively neutral at all times yet extracting all the necessary information to bring the story to its always excellently depicted shocking conclusion. It’s all very real. All very expertly threaded together by Wesolowski, reading these books feels like reading transcriptions from true-life episodes of a real-life podcast.
Deity centres around the fantastical life and death of megastar Zach Crystal. From a young age Zach Crystal broke onto the live music circuit with his sister Naomi. But as he grew into adulthood he went out on his own taking his music in a whole new direction. His fanbase grew at a stratospheric pace across the globe leading to fanaticism and adulation to the extreme. Zach Crystal became an enigma. Off stage he hid away in a remote forest area in Scotland in a residential compound with very heavy security. He was known for his work with underprivileged teenagers, young girls who came from very difficult homes. Having struggled through his own teen years, he had a great empathy with their challenges and he loved to spend time with them, listening to their stories. He created a magical place, a realm that was hidden away from the outside world with only limited access to certain trusted personnel. But there were those that began to question Zach Crystal’s interest in these troubled young girls. Was it all done in complete innocence, or was something much larger lurking in the shadows?
Zach Crystal had tragedy follow him through his life and after the death of a very close associate, he went underground, searching for himself. After a year of rumours he reappeared, giving an exclusive interview on the BBC about an upcoming album and world tour. His fans were ecstatic. His adversaries were angry. But all that was to change when the world woke up one morning to the news that Zach Crystal was dead. A fire at his home was to end the stellar career of this controversial musician but the rumour mill went into overdrive. Was it suicide as a result of the ‘predatory’ rumours? Was it an accident or was something darker at play?
Scott King decides that the time has come to attempt to unravel the truth. Who was Zach Crystal underneath the drama and the mask? Was he an innocent dragged into scandal by those who refused to believe his generosity was authentic? Or was there something sinister and malevolent to every act he undertook? Deity takes the reader on this journey of discovery as the truth is slowly revealed amidst the dark layers of this very complex individual.
Deity is a very compelling and addictive read. Author Michael Marshall Smith describes the Six Stories series as ‘unfolding like dark origami to reveal the black heart inside’ and I honestly think that this is possibly one of the best descriptions of this very intense reading experience. Although Zach Crystal is very much a fictional character, similar stories, unfortunately, have been reported about in real-life. Deity raises many questions about how we all view the celebrity, that person who oft-times sits on a pedestal very much removed from the reality of the majority of our lives. Society is most definitely questioning more, with social media providing a platform for many to express their opinions. Sometimes these platforms can be very toxic places with very disturbing outcomes but other times a spark is lit and a movement begins, a movement for justice and truth.
Deity is a chilling look at society with Matt Wesolowski enthralling his own cult following with another original and offbeat read, one that can make for disturbing reading but one that you just cannot put down. TV rights for Six Stories were sold to a major Hollywood studio so how cool would it be to see this series transferred to our screens. I can feel the hair rising on my skin at the thought. Doors locked, lights on…..
The cover of Deity is deserving of it’s own few words. Designed by Mark Swan of kid-ethic design studio, when I referred to its striking artwork, Matt Wesolowski responded with this –
“All of us are in thrall to the witchcraft of lord @Kidethic “- Matt Wesolowski
Deity continues this haunting series. with Matt Wesolowski’s now trademark unique style. Definitely a series worth picking up from the beginning, you will be equally enthralled, disturbed and shaken by the darkness that rests in the mind of this most unconventional of writers.
[ Bio ]
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- an 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 story set on the Northumberland coast, was published in 2013. Matt was a winner of the Pitch Perfect competition at Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival in 2015.
His debut thriller, Six Stories, was a bestseller in the USA, Canada, the UK and Australia, and a WH Smith Fresh Talent pick, and TV rights were sold to a major Hollywood studio. A prequel, Hydra, was published in 2018 and became an international bestseller, Changeling (2019) and Beast (2020) soon followed suit.
Deity is book 5 in the Six Stories series.
Twitter – @ConcreteKraken
Excellent review, M! You said it so much better than I did.
I think now that would be wrong… you aced that review Tough one to write about without giving much away wasn’t it?
Compelling and addictive. I am so there
I want this. Great review
They’re a great series Shalini! Thanks so much x