The Appeal by Janice Hallett @ViperBooks

Book Description:

In a town full of secrets…
Someone was murdered.
Someone went to prison.
And everyone’s a suspect.
Can you uncover the truth?

Dear Reader – enclosed are all the documents you need to solve a case. It starts with the arrival of two mysterious newcomers to the small town of Lockwood, and ends with a tragic death.

Someone has already been convicted of this brutal murder and is currently in prison, but we suspect they are innocent. What’s more, we believe far darker secrets have yet to be revealed.

Throughout the Fairway Players’ staging of All My Sons and the charity appeal for little Poppy Reswick’s life-saving medical treatment, the murderer hid in plain sight. Yet we believe they gave themselves away. In writing. The evidence is all here, between the lines, waiting to be discovered.

Will you accept the challenge? Can you uncover the truth?

The standout debut thriller of 2021 that delivers multiple brilliant twists, and will change the way you think about the modern crime novel.

My Thoughts:

Admittedly I kept putting off reading this book as having had a flick through the pages, I wasn’t sure if the style of story telling in the form of emails/messages would work for me. Having now read it, I am annoyed with myself for not taking that plunge earlier.

There are a lot of characters in the story so it did take a little time to settle in whilst I got to familiarise myself with everyone but as soon as I did, I found myself racing through the pages. Who knew reading emails and messages between people would be so entertaining! It really was though and it wasn’t long before I was casting suspicion on everyone.

I could easily see this being adapted for the screen. It’s very much like a classic whodunnit of which you are presented with the evidence although I had no clue who the murderer was until it was literally there in front of me in black and white. Not only is there a murderer afoot, there are also some other sinister things going on. You never really knew who to trust and at times I was praying that my suspicions with certain people were wrong.

Isabel/Izzy is without a doubt my favourite character in the story. I’m not really sure why as she is someone who is clingy and annoying but yet you also feel sorry for her at the same time. She is a people pleaser and just wants to be part of the “crowd”. I did love reading her emails the most.

The Appeal is very different to anything I have ever read before due to the way it is written. The fact it is also the author’s debut novel, just blew my mind! It is such a clever idea and one that worked so well. Once you start it, it is very hard to put it back down. If you love an addictive murder/mystery that will have you gripped to the very end, then look no further!

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