Elusive online investigative journalist Scott King investigates the case of Arla Macleod, who bludgeoned her family to death, in another episode of the chilling, award-winning Six Stories series.

‘Bold, clever and genuinely chilling with a terrific twist that provides an explosive final punch’ Deidre O’Brien, Sunday Mirror

‘A genuine genre-bending debut’ Carla McKay, Daily Mail

'Impeccably crafted and gripping from start to finish’ Doug Johnstone, The Big Issue


A family massacre
A deluded murderess
Five witnesses
Six stories
Which one is true?

One cold November night in 2014, in a small town in the north west of England, 21-year-old Arla Macleod bludgeoned her mother, father and younger sister to death with a hammer, in an unprovoked attack known as the Macleod Massacre.

Now incarcerated at a medium-security mental-health institution, Arla will speak to no one but Scott King, an investigative journalist, whose Six Stories podcasts have become an internet sensation.

King finds himself immersed in an increasingly complex case, interviewing five witnesses and Arla herself, as he questions whether Arla’s responsibility for the massacre was a diminished as her legal team made out.

As he unpicks the stories, he finds himself thrust into a world of deadly forbidden ‘games’, online trolls, and the mysterious black-eyed kids, whose presence seems to extend far beyond the delusions of a murderess…

Dark, chilling and gripping, Hydra is both a classic murder mystery and an up-to-the-minute, startling thriller, that shines light in places you may never, ever want to see again.


Praise for the Six Stories series

Matt Wesolowski brilliantly depicts a desperate and disturbed corner of north-east England in which paranoia reigns and goodness is thwarted … an exceptional storyteller' Andrew Michael Hurley

‘Beautifully written, smart, compassionate – and scary as hell. Matt Wesolowski is one of the most exciting and original voices in crime fiction’ Alex North

‘Wonderfully horrifying … the suspense crackles’ James Oswald

‘Original, inventive and dazzlingly clever’ Fiona Cummins

‘A complex and subtle mystery, unfolding like dark origami to reveal the black heart inside’ Michael Marshall Smith

‘Endlessly inventive and with literary thrills a-plenty, Matt Wesolowski is boldly carving his own uniquely dark niche in fiction’ Benjamin Myers

‘Disturbing, compelling and atmospheric, it will terrify and enthral you in equal measure’ M W Craven

‘Readers of Kathleen Barber’s Are You Sleeping and fans of Ruth Ware will enjoy this slim but compelling novel’  Booklist

‘A relentless and original work of modern rural noir which beguiles and unnerves in equal measure. Matt Wesolowski is a major talent’ Eva Dolan

‘The very epitome of a must-read’  Heat

‘Haunting, horrifying, and heartrending. Fans of Arthur Machen, whose unsettling tale The White People provides an epigraph, will want to check this one out’  Publishers Weekly

‘For those who like the book they curl up with in their favourite slipper socks to generate a powerful sense of unease, and impel them to check all doors are locked and as many lights turned on as possible, Matt Wesolowski has just the formula to meet your self-scaring needs… ‘  Strong Words

Edition Language:English
Format Type:

    Hydra Reviews

  • Chelsea Humphrey

    I heard them at lunchtime, over the sound of the radio.They followed me here.After everything that's happened, they followed me here...I don't know what they want.Sometimes you read a book that blows ...

  • Liz Barnsley

    The main thing I want to say is that this book is TOTAL genius. That.I read Hydra in one sitting, going through the night gulping down various types of caffeine drinks, because once I started I just c...

  • Michelle

    Well, well, well Matt Wesolowski has done it again! You are such a clever man! I adored Six Stories and I could not wait to read Hydra as soon as I heard about it and let me tell you this does not dis...

  • Helga

    'A thousand black-eyed girls,A thousand black-eyed boys,Marching to a distant drum,Looking for a place called home...'Are monsters born or made?Hydra is the second book in the Six Stories series in wh...

  • Dennis

    Matt Wesolowski, you really have a niche for the crime-fiction genre. I am so surprised that you were able to take the dynamic of Six Stories and be able to mold that into a complete and original new ...

  • The Book Review Caf

    Hydra oh WOW this has to be one of the most original and creepiest books I’ve read EVER! I loved Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski, but I loved Hydra more, it simply oozes menace from the opening chapt...

  • Blair

    I had no idea a sequel to Six Stories was due to be published, and snapped this up as soon as I spotted it. Like its predecessor, Hydra is structured around a true crime podcast hosted by the myst...

  • Abbie | ab_reads

    4.5 stars I’ve definitely been on a Matt Wesolowski kick this year, I think it’s safe to say I’m a tiny bit obsessed, a lot freaked out, and HECKING excited for his new book that Goodreads tells...

  • Emma

    Hydra is the second book from the pen of author Matt Wesolowski to be published by Orenda Books.  Wesolowski's Orenda debut, Six Stories, absolutely blew my mind last year and took it's place proud...

  • Donna Maguire

    https://donnasbookblog.wordpress.com/...Oh my goodness, I did not know what to do with myself when this book finished, I was emotionally drained and bereft it was all over - it was absolutely additive...