Synopsis: The truth is out there – honest.

Miranda Staple is an unemployed, maybe even unemployable, science graduate. When she is forced into taking a job by the Jobcentre, she doesn’t expect it to be life changing, let alone life threatening. Now she is a member of a top-secret Ministry of Defense, the UEU (Unexplained Events Unit) who investigate the truth behind alien abductions, UFOs, crop circles, conspiracy theories and occult events. 

When she and her new partner, maverick agent Charles Manson,  find themselves up against complex government conspiracies, their only ally is the mysterious Deep Cough, a government insider with bronchitis. As this darkly humorous story unravels, we discover the truth about alien interference, the strange cover up involving the abduction and death of Manson’s sister, as well as hoaxes and scams which blight our heroes’ path to the truth – whatever that is.

Review: John Crowdell’s The Alien Files reads like X-Files meets The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. It has the same dry British humor and satirical wit flagshipped in Adams’ books but with a darker brand of intrigue and even less belief in the good intentions of any government.

Unfortunately, Crowdell was done a fairly serious disservice by whatever editor he used and there are numerous issues with grammar and punctuation, not to mention a reliance on British colloquialisms that can sometimes be confusing to a non-British reader.

Fortunately, the characterization, depth of plot and wry cynicism of his voice were enough to have me looking past the various issues, usually because I was too busy laughing to worry about them. The plot is tightly woven and Crowdell manages to bring a fresh voice to an old idea, namely that there are aliens among us. The Alien Files is worth the price of admission, especially if you enjoy conspiracy theories and are in the mood to laugh.



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