The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels by Janice Hallett @ViperBooks

Open the safe deposit box.
Inside you will find research material for a true crime book.
You must read the documents, then make a decision.
Will you destroy them? Or will you take them to the police?

Everyone knows the sad story of the Alperton Angels: the cult who brainwashed a teenage girl and convinced her that her newborn baby was the anti-Christ. Believing they had a divine mission to kill the infant, they were only stopped when the girl came to her senses and called the police. The Angels committed suicide rather than stand trial, while mother and baby disappeared into the care system.

Nearly two decades later, true-crime author Amanda Bailey is writing a book on the Angels. The Alperton baby has turned eighteen and can finally be interviewed; if Amanda can find them, it will be the true-crime scoop of the year, and will save her flagging career. But rival author Oliver Menzies is just as smart, better connected, and is also on the baby’s trail.

As Amanda and Oliver are forced to collaborate, they realise that what everyone thinks they know about the Angels is wrong. The truth is something much darker and stranger than they’d ever imagined. And the story of the Alperton Angels is far from over.

The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels is Janice Halletts third novel and my favourite so far! I am a really fast reader but when it comes to this author I have to slow way down as I worry I will miss something and so I have to concentrate really hard. Her books are unlike anything else you will ever read and have a style all of their own-you must give her books a try if you’ve not read them before! You can thank me later!

The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels has an intriguing storyline that gripped me as soon as I started reading it. For newer readers it may take a while to get used to the narrative as it is told in a selection of different media in the form of emails, diaries, letters and transcripts. But this is where Janice Hallett comes into her own because she does this so well that you forget this isn’t a “traditionally written” novel! I don’t know how she does it but she’s able to bring her characters to life brilliantly without the usual descriptive language and using only their interactions to develop relationships that spring off the page. We get so much information but we are never quite sure what is relevant to the plot as we are drip fed clues and red herrings until the final few pages when everything suddenly becomes apparent.

This is such a brilliant piece of writing with incredibly clever plotting and I absolutely adored reading every single detail! Janice Hallett has ripped up the rule book for writers and created a complex and unique novel that works perfectly. One of the best books I’ve read this year!

Janice Hallett is a former magazine editor, award-winning journalist and government communications writer. She wrote articles and speeches for, among others, the Cabinet Office, Home Office and Department for International Development. Her enthusiasm for travel has taken her around the world several times, from Madagascar to the Galapagos, Guatemala to Zimbabwe, Japan, Russia and South Korea. A playwright and screenwriter, she penned the feminist Shakespearean stage comedy NetherBard and co-wrote the feature film Retreat, a psychological thriller starring Cillian Murphy, Thandiwe Newton and Jamie Bell. The Appeal is her first novel, and The Twyford Code her second.


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I am a Norfolk girl living in leafy Cheshire with my grumpy Scotsman. A mum and nana who lives for my family but who is also addicted to reading (and Marmite!) I will read almost anything but my preferred genres to review are psychological thrillers, crime procedural novels or women's fiction. My kindle is my life but I also have a substantial bookshelf in my cosy reading room where I can go to escape the stresses of family life with plenty of tea and chocolate. I am a member of netgalley and bookbridg. I review on Amazon, where I'm a Top 500 reviewer, and Goodreads. You can always find me over on Twitter @jocatrobertson for any review requests.