Wednesday 3 November 2021

#Review The Appeal by Janice Hallett

The Appeal - 'The standout debut thriller of 2021 that delivers multiple brilliant twists, and will change the way you think about the modern crime novel.' Coming in January 2022 - The Twyford Code also by Janice Hallett

About the Author
Janice Hallett is a former magazine editor, award-winning journalist and government communications writer. She wrote articles and speeches for, among others, the Cabinet Office, Home Office and Department for International Development. Her enthusiasm for travel has taken her around the world several times, from Madagascar to the Galapagos, Guatemala to Zimbabwe, Japan, Russia and South Korea. 

A playwright and screenwriter, she penned the feminist Shakespearean stage comedy NetherBard and co-wrote the feature film Retreat, a psychological thriller starring Cillian Murphy, Thandiwe Newton and Jamie Bell. The Appeal was her first novel, her second The Twyford Code is set to be published by Viper Books in January 2022. Follow @JaniceHallett on Twitter

About the book
In a town full of secrets. Someone was murdered. Someone went to prison. And Everyone's a suspect. Can you uncover the truth?

There is a mystery to solve in the sleepy town of Lower Lockwood. It starts with the arrival of two secretive newcomers, and ends with a tragic death. Roderick Tanner QC has assigned law students Charlotte and Femi to the case. Someone has already been sent to prison for murder, but he suspects that they are innocent. And that far darker secrets have yet to be revealed...

Throughout the amateur dramatics society's disastrous staging of All My Sons and the shady charity appeal for a little girl's medical treatment, the murderer hid in plain sight. The evidence is all there, waiting to be found. But will Charlotte and Femi solve the case? Will you?

I think less will be more when it comes to reviewing this one. I wouldn't want to take away the pleasure of experiencing this little treasure with an open mind.

Just one thing though, the minutes created by Isabel Beck were a riot - this is what happens when you write what you think, as opposed to giving a written narrative of what was actually said. Maybe she can come do some clerking in our town, it would go down a treat.

I have to give Hallett her dues, this is a completely engrossing and original piece of work. Interestingly it never loses the element of intrigue, despite the quite often seemingly mundane flowing in and out of the interactions and communications. It reminded me of a toss-up between a modern Cluedo and a game of mastermind. It's about the right place and time, the right combination of people, place, evidence and above all the clues.

It's a really well executed original piece of fiction. Using texts, emails, letters in a story isn't unusual - completing a whole murder mystery that way is. You either fail to reel in your audience or you excel at it, as Hallett has done.

Buy The Appeal at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎Viper; pub date 14 Jan. 2021. Buy at Amazon com. At Waterstones.

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