Hello hello and welcome or welcome back to my little bookish corner of the internet. Today is the release day for The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels, and I’m thrilled to be on the blog tour for it.
Many moons ago, I interviewed Janice Hallet, which you can read here. I’ve also read and reviewed both of her previous works: The Appeal and The Twford Code. Having loved both of these, I couldn’t wait to read this book and was delighted to be invited to review it as part of the tour.
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.
Let’s start off by saying that by this point, I’d read a shopping list by Janice Hallett. It takes a lot for an author to become an ‘auto-buy’ author for me, but Janice managed it with one book, followed it up with a brilliant second, and then completely blew me away all over again with book three.
The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels takes a unique twist on a mystery, in that the mysteries simply keep coming. Each time you think you’ve unravelled a piece of the puzzle, a brand new puzzle presents itself. It’s a sheer delight to get lost in, and I couldn’t put it down. In fact I read most of it in one night, when an episode of insomnia had me awake…. and Alperton Angels made me glad to be awake.
I couldn’t stop thinking about it long after I’d closed the book. I think I sat around looking a bit like a koi for the rest of the week, my jaw having dropped to the floor and not recovered. I’m writing this review over a month after finishing it, in fact, because I kept putting it off, trying to do it justice. The simple fact is, there’s no easy way to describe both the book itself, and the sensation of reading it. It’s an utterly individual, incredible read, that will leave you turning page after page, needing to unravel things.
Each character is perfectly carved out, jumping off the page in vivid life to take you on a journey through the story, flying through the exchanges and preparing you for absolutely nothing that is to come. You will notice clues, doubt yourself, double back, and be sure, only to find you are completely wrong.
Janice Hallett has done it again. Ultimately, this isn’t a book: it’s an experience.
Thanks for stopping by today for this review. I loved every page of this book, and can’t recommend it more highly. Out today, your new favourite read!
Huge thanks to Viper Books for my ARC of this book and involvement on the tour. Can’t wait for the next adventure (no pressure Janice…!).