Everyone knows the story of the Alperton Angels: the cult who brainwashed a young 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 go to prison, 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…
What an addictive read! The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels sucks you in from the first page and doesn’t let up until the end.
Following a similar format to The Appeal (which I also absolutely loved!), The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels tells the story of one journalist – Amanda Bailey-’s attempts to write a book on a famous case from many years ago, using clips, WhatsApp messages, emails and transcriptions.
Though the way the story is told is obviously different to usual, it’s so readable and you become engrossed in trying to piece together the witness interviews, newspaper clippings and the thoughts of Amanda, her friends/ colleges, and her fellow (rival) journalist Oliver as we see them.
The book weaves in real crime cases from history and lots of fictional elements to make a dark but engaging story. The ‘characters’ Amanda speaks to are compelling, if not always likeable, and Amanda herself is an entertaining character which I loved following.
The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels is another great release from Janice Hallett, who never seems afraid to play with form and has, once again, written an intricate and capitulating mystery.
My rating: 5/5
Many thanks to Serpent’s Tail for providing a copy of this novel on which I wrote an honest review.