If you’ve read any of my previous reviews of Janice Hallett books, you’ll know I’m an enormous fan. I’ve read The Appeal and The Twyford Code and I was a massive fan of the way that Hallett presented the books using different forms of media: emails, text messages, paper clippings etc. The Mystery Case of the Alperton Angels is very much the same sort of thing but this time I think she may have written her most exciting and interesting story yet!
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The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels tells the story of Amanda Bailey, a true crime author and her attempts to find out more information about the “Alperton Angels” cult case that happened over a decade ago. The case takes Bailey into a dark world where surprising things keep turning up and twists keep happening to the story.
The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels plot – 4.75/5
As I laid out above, the plot for this book is one that involved our true crime author, Amanda Bailey deciding to write a book about the Alperton Angels cult from over a decade ago. The case itself is shrouded in mystery, as is the case with many cult stories. Questions such as “How did they convince people to join?” “Why did they believe what they did?” “Why did they do what they did?” Etc.
As with other Hallett books, the story is presented mostly in the form of messages, WhatsApps and correspondences between all the characters. I can’t help but admire Hallett’s efforts here. I’d love to know if she goes through a lot of edit changes where plot holes would appear or where certain conversations wouldn’t make sense. Also, using this method it allows her to give people their own personalities via the way they write their messages (using emojis or individual traits in their syntax) and so it immerses you in the world and these people more than a regular novel.
The plot itself is full of twists and turns as Amanda Bailey speaks to different people and it allows you to almost work things out at the same time she does. There’s no way Hallett can miss out on conversations because they are essential to moving the plot forward. If this was a book written like this but had an uninteresting plot, it would get dull very quickly but Hallett manages to write the book like you’re reading only the important conversations.
If you’re nervous about how this all looks and reads, give it time. It may not work for some people but for many many others, they’ll get to the end of the novel and feel like they’ve been on an epic journey filled with twists and turns.
The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels characters – 4.75/5
I touched on the characters in The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels earlier because it’s such a crucial part of making this book likeable.
The way Hallett has added unique syntax and characteristics to the way that the different characters write is such an actively clever way to make sure you feel like you’re reading about genuinely different people. This means that you’re not then being taken out of the story by dull characters and so you can then focus on the characters. This is a talent that is incredibly hard to keep going.
What’s also impressive is that we spend the whole book with Amanda Bailey as our protagonist so we see the different ways she interacts with different people and the different ways she emails or texts them depending on the relationship she has with them. We even see the way she develops the way she speaks to people as her relationship grows with them.
I can’t express how brilliant Hallett is at adding personality to the different characters to make sure that you feel like you could be reading real digital conversations between people.
The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels final rating – 4.75/5
When I rate books these days, I don’t give any book a five star as I just cannot bring myself to tell somebody that a book is perfect because that would suggest it would be a book that every single person that reads it would like it. However, The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels may be the closest I’d ever come to giving a book five stars. It absolutely masters characters, giving them such deep personalities and a bloody brilliant plot that is so engaging and is always throwing twists and turns at you right until the very end. If you read one book from my blog, I think this may be the one I’d say read first. It. Is. A. Masterpiece.