Back to top

Book Review: The Appeal by Janice Hallett

Til wrong feels right 1

The Appeal follows two law clerks as they sift through the evidence of a murder case following a possible miscarriage of justice that may have put the wrong person behind bars. Who was murdered and by whom is not clear until the end of the book which makes the story interesting for the reader. Like Charlotte and Femi, we read looking for clues, following hunches and noticing anomalies.

The story centres round The Fairway Players, an amateur theatre group which is run by well-to-do couple Martin and Grace Hayward and their family. Grace was once a professional actress and still steals every scene; Martin directs and makes the big decisions.

Among the cast is Issy Beck for whom the theatre company is a godsend, giving her confidence and a social life. We soon get the feeling that Issy is not well respected among the troupe, or at work in the hospital where she’s a nurse in a geriatric ward. When Samantha Greenwood takes a job on the ward and offers support, Issy latches on to her, persuading her and husband Kel to audition for the Players’ new play.

When Martin emails everyone to tell them that his grand-daughter Poppy has a rare and aggressive form of cancer, the play takes second fiddle to a huge fundraising drive to pay for a cure. With emotions running high, large amounts of money at stake and a fair number of secrets and lies, you can be sure we have all the ingredients for murder.

Janice Hallett has written a clever and beguiling mystery, with the whole story told in the emails, texts and police reports that make the body of evidence that Charlotte and Femi have to re-evaluate. Somehow Hallett allows the personalities of the characters to shine through as if the book was written in a traditional way with descriptive passages and dialogue. It’s an interesting read and there are plenty of red herrings to trip up the clerks and reader alike.

Hallett is an award-winning journalist, former communications advisor and has written plays for stage and screen. The Appeal is her first novel. Her next book The Twyford Code is out early next year - one for the must-read list, I think.

20 October 2021

Back to Blog

Hastings

Monday 10.00am - 5.30pm
Tuesday 9.00am - 7.00pm
Wednesday 9.00am - 5.30pm
Thursday 9.00am - 7.00pm
Friday 9.00am - 5.30pm
Saturday 10.00am - 4.00pm
Sunday 1.00pm - 4.00pm

Havelock North

Monday 10.00am - 5.30pm
Tuesday 9.00am - 5.30pm
Wednesday 9.00am - 5.30pm
Thursday 9.00am - 5.30pm
Friday 9.00am - 5.30pm
Saturday 10.00am - 4.00pm
Sunday CLOSED

Flaxmere

Monday 10.00am - 5.30pm
Tuesday 9.00am - 5.30pm
Wednesday 9.00am - 5.30pm
Thursday 9.00am - 5.30pm
Friday 9.00am - 5.30pm
Saturday 10.00am - 4.00pm
Sunday CLOSED

Hastings District Council - Copyright © 2021 Hastings District Council

Disclaimers and Copyright
While every endeavour has been taken by the Hastings District Council to ensure that the information on this website is accurate and up to date, Hastings District Council shall not be liable for any loss suffered through the use, directly or indirectly, of information on this website. Information contained has been assembled in good faith. Some of the information available in this site is from the New Zealand Public domain and supplied by relevant government agencies. Hastings District Council cannot accept any liability for its accuracy or content. Portions of the information and material on this site, including data, pages, documents, online graphics and images are protected by copyright, unless specifically notified to the contrary. Externally sourced information or material is copyright to the respective provider.

© Hastings District Council - https://www.hastingslibraries.co.nz/ / +64 6 871 5000 / libraries@hdc.govt.nz