The Third Angel, By Alice Hoffman

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The Independent Culture

Over 24 books, Alice Hoffman has established herself as a highly successful purveyor of adult fairy tales. Here she moves away from home turf – backwoods Connecticut – with a three-part novel set in a Knightsbridge hotel.

Moving between the 1950s and the present, it links the misdemeanours of three generations of women: a visiting US attorney who steals her sister's fiancé; a chambermaid involved with a heroin-addicted rock star; and a 12-year-old girl dragged to London for a wedding.

Hoffman adapts seamlessly to the English setting – her angels adopting a stiff-upper-lip reserve. After a dry spell, she is back on top storytelling form.