The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels
Author: Janice Hallett
Published: January 23, 2024
Kindle: 416 Pages
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: December 30, 2023 – January 27, 2024
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
Everyone knows the story of the Alperton Angels: the cult who brainwashed a teenage girl into believing her baby was the anti-Christ. When the girl came to her senses and called the police, the Angels committed suicide and mother and baby disappeared.
Now, true crime author Amanda Bailey is looking to revive her career by writing a book on the case. The Alperton baby has turned eighteen; finding them will be the scoop of the year. But rival author Oliver Menzies is just as smart, better connected, and also on the baby’s trail.
As Amanda and Oliver are forced to collaborate, they realize that the truth about the Angels is much darker and stranger than they’d ever imagined, and in pursuit of the story they risk becoming part of it.
This is my first book by Hallett and I am impressed! The format is unique with the reader: First, you (the reader) are in possession of a key that goes to a safety deposit box that has many documents. Then you have a choice: Put everything back and throw the key away or take everything to the police. These documents are composed of newspaper articles, transcribed phone calls/meetings, WhatsApp messages, emails, and more.
Through these documents you go on a journey with Amanda Bailey. She is a True Crime author hoping to revive her career by writing a book about an infamous case: The Alperton Angels. It was a small cult that killed themselves and involved a teenage mother who thought her infant is the Anti-Christ. It turns out that Amanda is not the only one planning on writing a book on this case, she has competition. And they communicate.
This multi-layered mystery where the details must be paid attention to while reading. There are many twists and turns that occur and keep going all the way to the truth and the shocking ending! I found myself tuned into the story even more as I progressed in my reading. As I read, I felt like I really got to know Amanda through this journey. I absolutely adored Ellie Cooper, the transcriber, who gave her opinions throughout the journey as she transcribed. She was hilarious, and a comic relief was needed for this novel.
I read an arc, so I know formatting was changed around for the finished book, but I would definitely like to see how the finished product turned out. Many thanks to the publisher Atria Books for granting me a copy. I enjoyed this one!
Author: Freida McFadden
Narrator: Alyson Krawchuk
Published: December 4, 2022
Audiobook: 1 hour 4 minutes
Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Listened To: December 20, 2023
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars
Short Story Description:
It’s Christmas Eve and Stella Hansen is broke.
She is so broke that despite working two jobs, she can’t even afford a present for her husband on their first Christmas as man and wife. But then a mysterious storekeeper at a pawn shop offers Stella an intriguing trade.
Stella wants more than anything to buy her husband the Christmas gift of his dreams. But will it come at a terrible price?
The Gift is a gripping Christmas-themed thriller inspired by the classic O. Henry tale, The Gift of the Magi.
I wanted to share my review for this one before we got too far away from Christmas, so I am sharing it now!
Please note that this is not a full-length novel, but a short story. The book is about 50 pages and the audiobook (which I listened to) is just over an hour. I knew this going in as it says right there on Amazon the pages/ how long this story is. It is not the author’s fault if the reader does not notice that, and yes, I knew going in that it was short. I was ready for that as my commute is right at an hour and I knew I could get completely listened to then carry on for my work day!
The reader should also be aware that is inspired by that classic that we have all read in school: The Gift of the Magi, so we know the general direction this short story will go. But in McFadden fashion she has her own twist to it!
For me this short story was just average. The buildup was good, but the big twists didn’t shock me as I was hoping they would. It was more of a ‘what goes around comes around’ in a way certain characters did not see coming.
The narrator was Alyson Krawchuk and I have listened to her before. Her narration was good, especially with the old lady portrayal!
I’d love to see McFadden try her hand at more short stories, but with the ‘negative reviews’ as to the length of it (which again is mentioned if readers would actually… read ‘about the book’) I don’t think she will write more short stories.
If you enjoy McFadden books give it a try, but please realize that this is a short story![Top]
The Night House
Author: Jo Nesbø
Published: October 3, 2023
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: September 18- October 18, 2023
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars
In the wake of his parents’ tragic deaths in a house fire, fourteen-year-old Richard Elauved has been sent to live with his aunt and uncle in the remote, insular town of Ballantyne. Richard quickly earns a reputation as an outcast, and when a classmate named Tom goes missing, everyone suspects the new, angry boy is responsible for his disappearance. No one believes him when he says the telephone booth out by the edge of the woods sucked Tom into the receiver like something out of a horror movie. No one, that is, except Karen, a beguiling fellow outsider who encourages Richard to pursue clues the police refuse to investigate. He traces the number that Tom prank called from the phone booth to an abandoned house in the Black Mirror Wood. There he catches a glimpse of a terrifying face in the window. And then the voices begin to whisper in his ear . . .
You know who I am. She’s going to burn. The one you love is going to burn. There’s not a thing you can do about it.
When another classmate disappears, Richard must find a way to prove his innocence–and preserve his sanity–as he grapples with the dark magic that is possessing Ballantyne and pursuing his destruction.
Then again, Richard may not be the most reliable narrator of his own story . . .
I love the cover of this one, it’s just reminiscent of back in the old days and seems like it was going to be a good, old fashioned horror story. There are three parts to this novel and the first part was the horror I was looking for! Parts two and three didn’t really work for me. And Richard definitely was an unreliable narrator and we know that sometimes those work for me, sometimes they don’t. In the case of this novel, it just didn’t work for me for most of the book. Richard was just not relatable and unlikable, as he is a bully and it is seen from the beginning.
You do wonder what direction the story is going to go as you are reading. It did take me way too long to read this one: a whole month. My job is trying out us working 4 10-hour days, which means an extra day off during the week! Which I’m hoping will lead to more free reading time! I am hoping for that at least!
Overall, this book was not what I was expecting. I wanted a good scary horror story for the month of October, and most of the book was not that for me. This is also a foreign author and the book was translated, maybe the difference in the countries and story is what didn’t really work for me.
Many thanks to the publisher for granting me a copy to read and review. I just wish I could have enjoyed the novel more.[Top]