In 1995, the picture-perfect village of Ussalthwaite was the site of one of the most heinous crimes imaginable, in a case that shocked the world.
Twelve-year-old Sidney Parsons was savagely murdered by two boys his own age. No reason was ever given for this terrible crime, and the ‘Demonic Duo’ who killed him were imprisoned until their release in 2002, when they were given new identities and lifetime anonymity.
Elusive online journalist Scott King investigates the lead-up and aftermath of the killing, uncovering dark stories of demonic possession, and encountering a village torn apart by this unspeakable act.
And, as episodes of his Six Stories podcast begin to air, and King himself becomes a target of media scrutiny and the public’s ire, it becomes clear that whatever drove those two boys to kill is still there, lurking, and the campaign of horror has just begun…
Demon’s the sixth book in the Six Stories series and one I’ve been very eager to read. If you’re new to the series I can only tell you that each novel can be read as a standalone because the only constant is the podcast presenter Scott King, who brings a new case each time to the reader’s attention where he interviews 6 people trying to gain more insight and to perhaps give a satisfying answer to why and what happened in the past. He’s not exactly trying to prove someone’s innocence like in many other novels, but still, by interviewing and hearing about the cases from different people there are always other viewpoints, other things they know and have seen and it changes things significantly. You start out with a very broad perspective but as you go on you start to see more nuance. It’s a wonderful journey how he peels back all these layers each time, twisting and turning the story as he goes, and – for lack of a better name – brings a sort of enlightenment in the end.
I do love finding out each time who the people are that he has lined up for the interviews, and this time around there were some unexpected guests on the show. He starts with a woman who lives in the village of the victim and the two teenage murderers. There’s never only a murder when Scott King is involved, there’s always some sort of legend involved, history that plays its own role, and certainly, again, there’s an atmosphere of creepiness and evil in the small rural town of Ussalthwaite predating the murders for decades.
Wesolowski really went all the way in this novel and for me it’s one that goes most deeply into the supernatural. It’s great but also the reason why it’s maybe not my favourite of the six books of the series. In the other novels there were clear answers and explanations in the end that satisfied me and in this case some of it remains rather trivial. I never thought I could get the heeby jeebies from the mention of a black stone that fits the palm of your hand. Such a stone is mentioned in relation to events in the seventies, the nineties and even in the present where it plays even a role in the life of someone who has nothing to do with Ussalthwaite. This person – for some reason – has summoned the wrath of the flies over herself too in the process and it was the first time ever I felt it was a little over the top, there was just too much of it you know?
I do hope this isn’t the last novel of the series although if it is, I think he did a brilliant job in every one of them. His writing is stellar in every novel! It’s also a great achievement for me that I read an entire series. If you need confirmation about the quality of the series, I think this tells you how great they are. If you want to read the reviews of all the novels, I’ve listed them, not in the order of publication but for you especially into my personal ranking:
I bought a paperback copy of this novel. This review is my honest opinion.