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Title: The Appeal
Author: Janice Hallett
Publish Date: January 25, 2022
Genre: Crime Fiction
My Rating: 3/5
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.
The Appeal is an epistolary novel told through emails, texts, and other written communications. I’ve read several books with this format, and usually end up enjoying them. A mystery written in this format allows the reader to attempt solving the crime as the story unfolds.
A local theater group rallies around a sick child in one of their families. Along with preparing for their next production, the group helps raise money for an experimental treatment for the child. Tensions and doubts arise, and then one of the theater group is found dead. As two lawyers sort through the correspondence between the players involved, they start to suspect a killer is on the loose.
The Appeal is a compelling and uniquely told murder mystery. A good read for fans of epistolary novels and armchair sleuths.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
Books in The Appeal series:
- The Appeal
- The Christmas Appeal