The Appeal By Janice Hallett
Book/Novel Author: Janice Hallett
Book/Novel Title: The Appeal
INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER “[W]itty, original…a delight.” —The New York Times Perfect for fans of Ruth Ware and Lisa Jewell, this international bestseller and “dazzlingly clever” (The Sunday Times, London) murder mystery follows a community rallying around a sick child—but when escalating lies lead to a dead body, everyone is a suspect.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 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 the killer may be hiding in plain sight. The evidence is all there, between the lines, waiting to be uncovered. A wholly modern and gripping take on the epistolary novel, The Appeal is a “daring…clever, and funny” (The Times, London) debut for fans of Richard Osman and Lucy Foley.
This epistolary novel was very fun to read and reminded me a lot of Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty (one of my favorite books). As the story moves along and the reader is reviewing a series of emails and text messages between a group of people, it is apparent that something tragic is going to happen to one of them. The story started out very strong but lost a bit of steam in the last third of the book. Overall, I really enjoyed the journey and the mystery but felt that it dragged on a little bit too long. I received this book from NetGalley to read and review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I love books that are different. Different format, different way of saying things and this book did all that and more. I suggest grabbing a notebook to keep things straight. This clever and unique story has a huge cast of characters! Luckily the author provides the reader with a list of them twice. You’ll need it to refer back to. I promise! I had to reread parts. There were quite a few HUH? moments. These characters are a bunch of backstabbing, talk-behind-your-back, lying people that are introduced as they all come together to join their local theater group to put on an upcoming play. A huge deal! The entire book is told through texts, emails, police investigations, news reports, and letters. I had no idea that you could absorb so much of a person’s personality through emails. You can! I felt like a fly on the wall. I was part of a secret club listening in behind the scenes, privy to all their thoughts. Martin and Helen are the top dogs in town, they run the local theater group. We learn pretty quickly that their 2-year-old granddaughter has cancer and they need a ton of money to get an experimental drug from across the pond. The Appeal. Martin goes into fundraising mode, soliciting funds from everyone he knows and does not know. The townspeople rally behind this poor, poor family and hold all sorts of events to raise money. The details about the treatment is all a bit hazy, and the correspondence from Martin and a doctor, and the doctor and others create suspicion of the legitimacy right away. Toward the end of the book, a death occurs and so many people become a suspect. Is it a murder? We get an intimate look into the police investigation in this whodunnit. I felt like I was playing a game of Clue. It could have been Professor Plum with a pipe in the library. I don’t think this story will be for everyone. It wasn’t the easiest read, but it sure was fun figuring out this puzzle. The characters were quirky, to say the least. This book makes you pay attention and exercises your brain. Ingenious debut. I can’t wait to read more by this author!
The Appeal by Janice Hallett is a Who Done Its lovers dream! This book was so much fun to read! I had a blast trying to figure who done it. Such a wide cast of characters and personalities. I really enjoyed the perspective of the two woman trying to solve the case. Issy was by far my favorite character. The depth Janice went to write her personality was absolutely fantastic. The narrator for her was also so well done. I did have a hard time getting into the formatting at first. I found it helpful to listen to the audio as well as follow along in the book. Overall I really enjoyed The Appeal! I can’t imagine all the hard work The author put in to write this complex novel. I would highly recommend this book to any mystery lover. I found the end so satisfying and yet so creepy. 4/5 Stars
I loved the unique format of this story, however it was too slow for me personally. I would really recommend this book to any who likes mystery and some twists.
Entertaining and unique. This mystery is told through a series of emails and texts as it lays out the evidence of a murder of a small town drama group member. It’s Femi and Charlotte’s job to read through the emails and fit the puzzle pieces together. There’s a whole lot of small town drama, which I found some humor in at times, and a whodunnit clue game wrapped in the package that is this novel. It was very clever way to tell a story, and I really enjoyed trying to figure it out myself. Many thanks to @netgalley and @atriabooks for this digital galley! Out now, people! Put it on your list.
I loved this book and couldn’t put it down. This book is very clever and very unique! It is written in a series of electronic messages, which although was a little bit confusing at the beginning, became a very effective manner to follow this ensemble of characters in a small town. Recommended!