Book Review

The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels by Janice Hallett | Book Review

The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels by Janice Hallett
Release Date: 19th January 2023
Genre: Adult, Mystery
Source: Publisher, NetGalley
Rating: ★★★★

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 story of the Alperton Angels: the cult-like group who were convinced one of their member’s babies was the anti-Christ, and they had a divine mission to kill it – until the baby’s mother, Holly, came to her senses and called the police. The Angels committed suicide rather than go to prison, and Holly – and the 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, and the truth is something much darker and stranger than they’d ever imagined.

This story is far from over – and it won’t have a happy ending.

I loved The Appeal and didn’t care much for The Twyford Code, so Hallett’s books have been very hit or miss for me. I’m a massive fan of the format for her books, though, which is why I was keen to give The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels a go.

Not only is it written in mixed media format, it also follows a true crime writer. I have an interest in true crime myself (not in a weird way, I promise) so that was a major draw for me.

I don’t read many books about cults but the ones I have read have been a little unsatisfactory. The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels does feature a cult, but the main focus of the book was the true crime writer’s research. Thankfully. I think this worked well.

I always love how confusing Hallett’s books are in the beginning. Not in a bad way. It makes me feel like I’ve really earnt it as I unpack and discover more information.

Amanda was an interesting main character whose backstory is very, well, mysterious. You learn some of it from context, but a lot of it isn’t revealed until the end. I also loved her banter with Ellie, her audio typist. It was so fun, and it added some much needed humour and chemistry to the book.

I enjoyed The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels a lot more than The Twyford Code, and I’m so relieved! It took a little while to get going as Hallett put the pieces into place, but I ended up being hooked.

Janice Hallett is such a unique author and I can’t wait to see what she brings out next.

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