Such a clever, twisty and mind-boggling story from start to finish!
The Twyford Code by Janice Hallett
Published 13th January
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…
I loved The Appeal for it’s mixed media, as it’s told through emails / whatsapp messages and The Twyford Code is no different – told entirely through voice recordings!
I will admit it took me a little while to get into it with the voice recordings as it did jump around a lot from Steven narrating into the recorder, to conversations recorded and I struggled to figure out which character was talking at times.
However, once I finally got used to the writing style I was fully absorbed and if anyone was looking at me whilst I was reading they would have seen me with a very confused face – but that’s not a bad thing. I really don’t want to say too much as this is definitely one of those books that you need to go into without knowing anything as it’s a mystery with many many layers.
All I will say is that I’m in awe of Janice Hallett for coming up with something so unique and so intricately crafted that it blew my mind. I thought I was good at solving clues….turns out I’m not in the slightest!
If you enjoyed The Appeal and think you have what it takes to solve a mystery then make sure you give this a read!