Popsugar Reading Challenge 2023 Prompt #2

I loved The Twyford Code and The Appeal by Janice Hallett, so was absolutely thrilled to be lucky enough to meet her at a book event at Chorleywood Books. It was fascinating to hear about her writing process and inspiration for her mysteries. And grabbed a signed copy of The Mysterious Case of Alperton Angels while I was there.

What it’s about?

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.

What I think:

This is such an interesting and twisty book. Just when I thought I knew where it was going, it completely surprised me. This is such a multi-layered mystery.

Woven together are ideas about true crime and the relationships authors develop with their subjects, police corruption and cults, and how and why people are attracted to them.

I especially loved that this was set in places I know – one of the characters went to school I used to teach at!

Hallett is so good at writing unreliable narrators. Through messages, emails, and transcripts, you can never quite tell who you can trust. Amanda and Oliver are great characters that I found fascinating.

The way the story unfolded kept me guessing right to the end. Hallett’s writing is just so clever. There are so many little twists and turns. The Mysterious Case of Alperton Angels is a really compelling read: dark, disturbing, and very well written.

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