Author : Janice Hallett
Title : The Mysterious Case of The Alperton Angels
Pages : 528
Publisher : Viper Books UK
Publication date : January 19, 2023
Source : Netgalley
| ABOUT THE BOOK |
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.
| MY THOUGHTS |
Nope, no happy ending here. Not for your brain either because that’s just going to explode into such a big pile of mush that you’ll forget your own name.
‘The Mysterious Case of The Alperton Angels‘ opens with instructions for the reader. You will be handed research material that has been used to write a book about, you guessed it, the case of the Alperton Angels. At the end, you will have a choice to make. Hand whatever you’ve read over to the police or shove it all back into a safety deposit box and make the key disappear forever.
Intriguing doesn’t even begin to cover it.
Who are the Alperton Angels, you ask? Nearly two decades ago, there was a cult whose members thought they were angels. They were convinced one of their members had given birth to the antichrist. There was no other solution but to kill this baby. Luckily, the mother came to her senses just in time and notified the police. Some of the remaining cult members slit their own throats, one ended up in prison, and the baby and its mother disappeared into the care system.
Now that baby turns eighteen years old and can finally be interviewed. If it can be found, that is. Enter Amanda Bailey, a true-crime author whose flagging career desperately needs a scoop. It is her research the reader will be diving into to try and make sense of this mysterious case, and it is her path the reader follows as she hunts for the truth alongside her rival, Oliver.
This story is told entirely through various documents. Emails, texts or WhatsApp messages, transcriptions of interviews Amanda had with people who were close to the case, … In that respect, it harks back to Hallett’s debut ‘The Appeal‘ as it gives the reader the opportunity to get stuck into things, trying to put together the pieces of this incredibly complicated puzzle. But, I dare say ‘The Mysterious Case of The Alperton Angels‘ is even better.
Massively addictive and a true page-turner, this book will have you going around in circles like mad. Sometimes it feels as if you’re being led down a rabbit hole and it’s taking all your effort not to stray from your path, but to keep your head down and to keep searching for the truth. It’s a layer that acts like any cult would, I suppose, and it’s so incredibly cleverly done that I almost missed it. Or maybe I just imagined it. Cults are inventive that way too, aren’t they?
I will not say any more for fear of saying too much. Read it, enjoy it, decide what you will do with this information that’s found its way into your lap. I will be truly impressed if you’re able to predict the outcome. Despite a few moments where I thought I had a tiny inkling, I could never see the full picture. Sublime crime fiction once again from Janice Hallett, who keeps coming up with delightful new ways to tell a mystery story. I have no doubt ‘The Mysterious Case of The Alperton Angels‘ will end up on my favourites list in December. It’s just that good.
Huge thanks to Viper for the advanced review copy, which I received via Netgalley. All opinions are my own.