Book review – The Appeal by Janice Hallett
Genre: Mystery & Thrillers
Published: 2019, UK & CW, 2022 US & ROW
Swathi’s Rating: 4.5/5
Qotd: What is your latest 5 star read?
Meet my latest read that left me stunned that I had to vent out endlessly to come in terms with its exceptional ending!!
#TheAppeal by @janice.hallett is a compelling murder mystery set in an idyllic English village where everyone knows everyone’s businesses and it’s a close knit community where an alpha family is the centre of attention and everyone wants to be friends with them. Suddenly, the granddaughter of the alpha family becomes ill and they need money for her treatment. And so begins the appeal for Poppy’s treatment and the whole community gets together for this initiative. The alpha family also runs a drama theatre and it’s also an active place where everyone wants to be part of.
So what’s new in the book? Well, the whole narrative if you’d call it that, is only through transcripts of emails, text messages, social media clips, audio/video transcripts, news articles, police interviews and many such. This also means there are about 500+ emails and other modes of modern communication coming back to back and that’s the only want to get to know the characters and the story. It’s almost impossible to predict what is really going on and it takes quite a time to actually guess what the mystery is all about!
All the while, the author develops her characters, the setting, the ambience and most importantly the mystery that is mainly an ongoing murder investigation with layers and layers of hidden information that will be revealed gradually as the story progresses. It’s amazing really, how creative the author is, to structure the book in such an entertaining way as well as putting it all together so well. I love it when a book delivers informal storytelling, anything that’s different from the usual long passages and The Appeal is a jaw-dropping, utterly captivating mystery that kept me hooked all through the while!
About the Book:
The Fairway Players, a local theatre group, is in the midst of rehearsals when tragedy strikes the family of director Martin Hayward and his wife Helen, the play’s star. Their young granddaughter has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, and with an experimental treatment costing a tremendous sum, their fellow castmates rally to raise the money to give her a chance at survival.
But not everybody is convinced of the experimental treatment’s efficacy—nor of the good intentions of those involved. As tension grows within the community, things come to a shocking head at the explosive dress rehearsal. The next day, a dead body is found, and soon, an arrest is made. In the run-up to the trial, two young lawyers sift through the material—emails, messages, letters—with a growing suspicion that a killer may be hiding in plain sight. The evidence is all there, between the lines, waiting to be uncovered.