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The Appeal: A Novel

The Appeal: A Novel

by Janice Hallett
The Appeal: A Novel

The Appeal: A Novel

by Janice Hallett


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Notes From Your Bookseller

The film director Jean-Luc Godard once said every story has a beginning, middle and end, but not always in that order. The Appeal by Janice Hallett reverse engineers the mystery insofar as the clues come first THEN the dead body. So, while you are wondering Whodunnit?, you are ALSO wondering Who has it been done to?. As the story unfolds, we realize each of the characters has reason to kill or be killed. We were surprised the whole way.

Named a Best Book of 2022 by The New York Times, Air Mail, and more!

“[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.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781982187460
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication date: 11/01/2022
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 140
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.30(d)

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 cowrote the feature film Retreat. She lives in London and is the author of The Appeal and The Twyford Code.

Read an Excerpt

1. Sandra, please deliver to Femi and Charlotte Sandra, please deliver to Femi and Charlotte
Olufemi Hassan

Charlotte Holroyd

Dear both,

As discussed, it is best you know nothing before you read the enclosed. Please bear in mind:

  1. Only a limited number of emails, texts, and messages could be recovered, so the correspondence is not complete.
  2. It is, however, broadly chronological.
  3. I’ve included various extras—i.e. newspaper clippings, social-media activity, and other sundries—in the pursuit of context.
  4. If I come across anything else of interest I will forward it to you.

See what you think.


Roderick Tanner, QC

Senior Partner

Tanner & Dewey LLP

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