Updated: May 11
I’ve been a fan of Matt Wesolowski since his first Six Stories book, Six Stories. And I’d honestly say there’s not a duff one. There are some I prefer more than others, but each instalment offers an interesting story/mystery wrapped up in an engaging writing form. Each of the Six Stories books follows Scott King, a podcaster who looks at cold case mysteries with a potential supernatural element. Over six ‘episodes’ of his podcast, Scott interview six different people related to the case to get their view on the story. Now we’re on to the fifth instalment, can Matt keep up his solid run?
The answer is a resounding ‘yes’. Deity examines a fictional pop star heavily rooted in reality — a god in his time with apparently unlimited money and power, who in his later career and following his death is accused of abusing teenaged girls. The book touches on aspects of Operation Yewtree and the #MeToo movement, but for me felt most heavily influenced by the Michael Jackson trials and perhaps the documentary Leaving Neverland. However, this being Matt Wesolowski, it’s not enough to have a creepy as heck pop star who may or may not be doing unpleasant things in his remote Scottish treehouse. There is also the strange, cultish behaviour of his megafans, and a grim antlered figure stalking the woods, a potential omen of death.
The multi-media approach to Matt’s story-telling — using interview transcripts, monologues, news cuttings and so one to tell the story, rather than standard prose — is always engaging and makes for a quick and dynamic read. I found the story particularly interesting this time around, and the variety of speakers in the interviews felt like it gave voice to people from all walks of the dark side of the internet. Without wishing to give spoilers, there are parts of this book that, for people who has survived abuse, will be difficult to read.
But it’s the hard to read parts of the story that really brought the Six Stories format to another level. By engaging so closely with stories we all know, but which seem to get swept under the carpet almost as quickly as they’re raised, Wesolowski has brought a real bite to his writing and a relevance that I don’t think is going to be easily dismissed. Deity is available to purchase from Bert’s Books here.
The first instalment of this series, Six Stories, is available to buy from our site here.