The Twyford Code by Janice Hallett #bookreview #blogtour @JaniceHallett @ViperBooks @RandomTTours

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the new novel by Janice Hallett, The Twyford Code. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

The Twyford Code: from the bestselling author of The Appeal by [Janice Hallett]

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It’s time to solve the murder of the century…

Forty years ago, Steven Smith found a copy of a famous children’s book by disgraced author Edith Twyford, its margins full of strange markings and annotations. Wanting to know more, he took it to his English teacher Miss Iles, not realising the chain of events that he was setting in motion. Miss Iles became convinced that the book was the key to solving a puzzle, and that a message in secret code ran through all Twyford’s novels. Then Miss Iles disappeared on a class field trip, and Steven has no memory of what happened to her.

Now, out of prison after a long stretch, Steven decides to investigate the mystery that has haunted him for decades. Was Miss Iles murdered? Was she deluded? Or was she right about the code? And is it still in use today?

Desperate to recover his memories and find out what really happened to Miss Iles, Steven revisits the people and places of his childhood. But it soon becomes clear that Edith Twyford wasn’t just a writer of forgotten children’s stories. The Twyford Code has great power, and he isn’t the only one trying to solve it…

MY THOUGHTS

Janice Hallett has become the new queen of the murder mystery novel. I can see why her books are perfect for fans of Agatha Christie. I loved her debut novel The Appeal, so I was so excited to start reading The Twyford Code. The way how she has written both of her books is so original. Her ideas are very cleverly put together, and I love the way how she tells her stories, which make them very unique. The way how she tells them, really does make you think about what is happening in the novel, and it makes for such an entertaining read, especially as I was trying to work out what was going on.

The Twyford Code is told through a series of recordings, produced by ex-prisoner, Steven, who is determined to solve the mystery of what happened to his teacher, Miss Isles, who vanished on a school trip. He believes the answer to her disappearance lies in the pages of a series of novels for children, written by Edith Twyford, a prolific writer who was working for the British in the Second World War. This is where the plot for the novel really becomes intriguing. I wanted to know what it was that Edith Twyford was potentially hiding in the pages of her books. People, who believe that there is a code, believe that she kept an extraordinary secret, and if you followed the clues in her book correctly, you would discover the truth. And there are various different theories of what the secrets in her books may contain.

Janice Hallett does write this book in a different way to how she wrote her debut novel. I really liked the way how she wrote her second book. She manages to heighten the tension as Steven tracks down his former classmates in his attempt to try and discover the truth about what happened to their teacher. I got the feeling that there were people out there who were determined to stop him from getting to the truth. It made me even more intrigued to find out what happened to Miss Isles, and if it was, at all, connected to the hidden code in Edith Twyford’s books.

The Twyford Code is a cleverly constructed novel that kept me utterly gripped. I loved the concept and I thought it was really well done. If you loved Janice Hallett’s first book, you are going to love her second.

Publisher: Viper Books

Publication date: 13th January 2022

Print length: 384 pages

The Twyford Code is available to buy:

Amazon UK Waterstones

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The Appeal by Janice Hallett #bookreview

I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on the debut novel by Janice Hallett, The Appeal, on my blog today. With thanks to Viper Books for sending me a copy to review.

The Appeal: The thriller you'll become obsessed with by [Janice Hallett]

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In a town full of secrets…
Someone was murdered.
Someone went to prison.
And everyone’s a suspect.
Can you uncover the truth?

Dear Reader – enclosed are all the documents you need to solve a case. It starts with the arrival of two mysterious newcomers to the small town of Lockwood, and ends with a tragic death.

Someone has already been convicted of this brutal murder and is currently in prison, but we suspect they are innocent. What’s more, we believe far darker secrets have yet to be revealed.

Throughout the Fairway Players’ staging of All My Sons and the charity appeal for little Poppy Reswick’s life-saving medical treatment, the murderer hid in plain sight. Yet we believe they gave themselves away. In writing. The evidence is all here, between the lines, waiting to be discovered.

Will you accept the challenge? Can you uncover the truth?

MY THOUGHTS

The Appeal by Janice Hallett is one of the most original crime novels I’ve read in a long while. It’s told in a unique way, and it invites the reader to see if they can solve a mystery. If you’re looking for something that is different in the crime fiction genre, you definitely need to read this. Someone was murdered. Someone was erroneously imprisoned. Who is the guilty party?

When I did start reading, I’ll admit, I wasn’t sure how I would get on with the style in which the book was written. But after the first couple of pages had passed, I was utterly gripped, and I thought the story was told in a really clever and creative way.

A Drama group, run by a man named Martin Hayward, is setting up to stage a production of All My Sons. But this is soon thrown into chaos when he receives the devastating news that his granddaughter, Poppy, has a rare form of cancer. The Haywards, with the help of the members of the drama group, launch an appeal to raise money for treatment, which Poppy’s family believe is the best hope for her survival. The treatment is currently going through trials in America and is not available in the UK and won’t be for years, perhaps ever. But raising the much needed funds, the family need isn’t going to be easy. As the group starts exchanging their thoughts over email and text, the true colours of some group members are revealed.

I don’t want to say much more about the plot, as it is best to go into this book with very little information, but there are some devious and compelling characters. The dialogue between the members of the group was very believable. Even though we don’t get any descriptions of the characters, I managed to picture them in my mind as I was reading. Their voices were also very distinct. As I said, this book invites you to solve the mystery. I didn’t guess who would be murdered and who the culprit was, but I had some idea as to where the plot was heading. This is one of those novels which you’ll want to discuss once you have read it. It’ll make the perfect book club read.  

I also think that when you have finished reading this book, you’ll want to go back to the beginning again and see where Janice Hallett planted all her clues. I had suspicions about quite a few characters. This is one of those novels which will really get you thinking.

The Appeal grips you very early on and you’ll be desperate to find out who the person is who gets murdered and who the culprit is. The clues are all there. You definitely need to add this to your TBR pile; there’s going to be a lot of people talking about this book in the coming months. I loved it.

Publisher: Viper

Publication date: 14th January 2021

Print length: 432 pages

The Appeal is available to buy:

Amazon UK Waterstones