Disclaimer: Annabel Lee, by Mike Nappa, was provided by Revell in exchange for an honest review.
Fourteen miles east of Peachtree, Alabama, a secret is hidden. The secret’s name is Annabel Lee. She doesn’t know why her enigmatic uncle has stowed her deep underground in a military-style bunker. He’s left her with a few German words, a barely controlled guard dog, and a single command: “Don’t open that door for anybody, you got it? Not even me.” Miles away in Atlanta, private investigator Trudi Coffey is visited by a mysterious older man calling himself Dr. Smith. He’s been trailing a man for a decade—a man she met through her ex-partner Samuel Hill—and the trial has led him to her office. The last thing Trudi wants to do is to contact Samuel. But it will take both of them to unravel this mystery—before it’s too late.
Annabel Lee starts out strong and gripped me from the very first chapter. I’m not overly fond of the military/spy version of suspense novels, but this one was intriguing, occasionally funny, and full of light-hearted moments amidst all the gun fights. At one point I was nervous that the novel would veer off into supernatural/fantasy territory, but Annabel Lee stayed strictly a suspense novel—with maybe a touch of science fiction.
I appreciated Nappa’s ability to make characters likeable, even the ones who have slightly more of a checkered past than the others. Even with all the deaths, Nappa makes Samuel, Trudi, and the Mute’s actions completely justified and brings the reader completely on their side—something hard to do in a book with a lot of shooting, especially considering today’s culture. And the ultimate justified action at the end leaves the reader (all right—at least me) without a single doubt that what happened was the right thing to do.
My one complaint is that I could have done less with the minute descriptions of cars and guns. I could not care less what exact make, model, and class SUV the villain is driving, nor do I have enough experience about guns to appreciate Trudi’s love for her particular make and model of handgun. But, overemphasis of unimportant (to me) details aside, Annabel Lee was a great read: gripping, exciting, and light and dark in all the right places.
My rating: 4/5
Warnings: Violence, death.
Genre: Realistic, Suspense, Christian
You can buy this here: http://amzn.to/1R78FZv