Annabel Lee by Mike Nappa | Review

house on hill surrounded by fog

In Atlanta, Private investigator Trudi Coffey is visited by a mysterious Dr. Smith who is looking for a man. Dr. Smith thinks she knows where to find the target. Coffey knows her ex-husband, Sam Hill, probably does.

In Alabama, Annabel Lee is woken by her uncle and hidden in an underground bunker on their property. He gives her the only key and tells her not to open the door for anyone without the safe code. She doesn’t know how long she will be there.

Events from the past converge and the mystery of Dr. Smith’s identity and Annabel Lee’s survival are left in the hands of ex-spouses Coffey & Hill.

Annabel Lee is a fantastic book with continuous action and plot twists. Each chapter is told from the perspective of a different character. Sometimes sequences overlap, but for the most part, the chapters run chronologically. Nappa has done a wonderful job providing tidbits of information to the readers, while the characters might not yet know their connections. Although I did find aspects of the plot predictable, overall this novel keeps the reader guessing. Just when you think the characters are safe, more trouble ensues.

This novel is considered Christian suspense. It is actually the first I have read of this genre. There are elements of Christianity and spiritual faith throughout, but it is a small aspect that any reader can enjoy the story without feeling preached to.

Fun fact: “Annabel Lee” is a poem written by Edgar Allen Poe. Nappa, a Poe fan, incorporates Poe’s poem into the novel in many clever ways. I enjoyed drawing the connections between the poem and this novel. I won’t spoil the connections for you, but look out for them while you read. It looks like the next Coffey & Hill novel is titled Raven, so I am excited to see how that Poe poem is intertwined with it (if at all).

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Annabel Lee by Edgar Allen Poe
It was many and many a year ago,
   In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
   By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
   Than to love and be loved by me.
I was a child and she was a child,
   In this kingdom by the sea,
But we loved with a love that was more than love—
   I and my Annabel Lee—
With a love that the wingèd seraphs of Heaven
   Coveted her and me.
And this was the reason that, long ago,
   In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
   My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsmen came
   And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
   In this kingdom by the sea.
The angels, not half so happy in Heaven,
   Went envying her and me—
Yes!—that was the reason (as all men know,
   In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
   Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.
But our love it was stronger by far than the love
   Of those who were older than we—
   Of many far wiser than we—
And neither the angels in Heaven above
   Nor the demons down under the sea
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
   Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
For the moon never beams, without bringing me dreams
   Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes
   Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
   Of my darling—my darling—my life and my bride,
   In her sepulchre there by the sea—
   In her tomb by the sounding sea.

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