The Appeal by Janice Hallett
Release Date: 25th January 2022
This 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 for an Arthur Miller play, when tragedy strikes the family of director Martin Haywood 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. New actress Sam, a former NGO worker, raises doubts. But are her suspicions justified? Or does she have a history with the doctor involved? As tension grows within the community, things come to a shocking head the night of the 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 still be on the loose.
My Review of The Appeal
I don’t remember requesting The Appeal for review purposes but I suppose I must have done. Either that or the publisher knows my taste really well and sent me the e-ARC via Edelweiss unsolicited. Either way, it doesn’t really matter. I was immediately hooked and intrigued so any confusion over the source of this book evaporated pretty quickly.
The Appeal is captivating from the very first chapter. It’s told in an interesting format, in that we’re reading case files alongside a couple of junior lawyers to try to figure out what’s really going on with this case. I love this idea. It was a great way of keeping things interactive and making sure the reader got involved. I don’t think this format is for everyone, but those of us who really enjoy pretending to be detectives while reading thrillers would probably really like this book. I certainly did.
I also love small town drama, and this book is perfect for that. I loved the questions the case files brought up – what was happening in this theatre group? Is this girl really sick? What’s going on with half of these people – are they okay?! I particularly loved feeling as though I was watching the small town drama unfold from the outskirts. The build up to finding out what the case was actually about was also a lot of fun.
While The Appeal isn’t a five star, all time favourite read, it’s definitely something a little different in the thriller genre and I would recommend it to fellow armchair detectives who love a good mystery book.
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