Annabel Lee / by Mike Nappa. (Coffey & Hill, 1) 9.25.2017

Revell ISBN 9780800726447

Adult Rating: 4

Eleven-year-old Annabel is being kept safe in a bunker, filled with canned foods and protected by a guard dog with the ability to be most vicious but also be a friend to the girl. Uncle Truck (or Leonard Truckson as he is known to others) put her there for safekeeping with the admonition: don’t open the door for anyone unless they have the secret phrase, not even me. And readers don’t have any idea why. Trudi Coffey and Samuel Hill, divorced detective partners, are searching for Annabel, as are Mute, a trained mercenary, and a host of other players, including the elusive Dr. Smith. Are these friends or foes?

The book’s narrative alternates between Anna and the dog in their forced incarceration and those that are looking for them. It is only at the conclusion of the book that the reader discovers the nefarious reason some are searching for the girl.

Annabel Lee is not a cozy mystery. The book contains a large amount of violence, though not simply for the sake of violence. The story is rather convoluted to begin with until the reader gets the rhythm of it. Most questions are left unanswered until the very end. While there are a few references to Christianity , it is predominantly a tale of mystery, subterfuge and love for a young girl who must be protected from the evil intents on her life at all costs.

Ceil Carey, CLJ