Here’s my disclaimer – I’ve never met a book I didn’t like. That could be because I’m super choosy about what I read. This book, Annabel Lee (a Coffey & Hill novel), which released today, simply KNOCKED MY SOCKS OFF, despite the fact that I don’t typically read Christian fiction.
From one look at the front cover, to the synopsis on the back cover, I was hooked.
I had not heard of Mike Nappa before reading this book, but you can bet I’m going to find his other stuff. Pronto. His Amazon author page reveals that not only does he write fiction novels, he also writes devotions and non-fiction on family relationships.
I started Annabel Lee on a Thursday and had it finished by Sunday. It was that good. I think my husband may have been a bit annoyed with me because I pretty much refused to interact with anyone until I finished reading this book.
This gem has all of the makings of an outstanding book:
Subtle romantic themes? √
Faith element? √
Good vs. Evil? √
Mike had me on the edge of my seat as, chapter upon chapter, I learned more about Annabel Lee, her enigmatic uncle, a PI named Trudi, and Trudi’s ex-husband Samuel.
As each page unfolded into the next, I was drawn in more deeply to the elusive world of Annabel Lee and her supporting cast of characters.
Why did her uncle lock her in an underground shelter? And then further, why did he instruct her not to open the door to anyone – unless they had the secret code?
Having never attended school, how was she so intelligent and fluent in so many languages?
What is her tie to Trudi and Samuel?
Why is that dog so bloody terrifying and why was it trained to be a killer?
Who is the mysterious and eccentric Dr. Smith and why does he keep following Trudi, Samuel, and The Mute? What is his tie to all of this?
I became so enmeshed in the plot and characters in this book that I began to feel as though I was a witness to the events. That I was present for the conversations, the battles, the crucial decisions, and even an insider to the private thoughts of two ex-lovers who clearly still have feelings for one another.
As Mike revealed little by little, I began to see the plot thickening and to feel the tension. Dr. Smith had plenty to gain by finding Annabel Lee. And the others were clearly doing their best to protect her from his clutches – before they even knew why he wanted her so desperately.
This was, by far, one of the best fiction stories I’ve read in a long time. Mike has another Coffey & Hill novel, The Raven, releasing in the fall of this year. I’ll be in line to get that before it hits the shelves.