Title: The Trap
Published by : Pan Macmillan
Publication date: May 19th 2016
Author: Melanie Raabe
Source: Won in a Goodreads giveaway
First of all I’d like to apologise for how long it took me to post this review and for the fact that it’s now been 10 days since I last posted! You’re probably all tired of me moaning about my exams but they’re just so close at this point, they start in less than a month and last for about three weeks. I haven’t posted a May TBR because frankly I didn’t expect to read any books this month, BUT its halfway through the month and I’ve read a book! Yes it may have been less than 300 pages but it’s still an achievement, considering most of my time is spent studying.
Honestly the tag line of this book was what initially sparked my interest in the book. It’s really weird but when I read a synopsis and I feel like there’s not much to be done with this story line it actually makes me intrigued to find out how the author approached it. This may sound like absolute gibberish but when I tell you the synopsis it’ll make sense (hopefully)!
‘For 11 years, the bestselling author Linda Conrads has mystified fans by never setting foot outside her home. Haunted by the unsolved murder of her younger sister–who she discovered in a pool of blood–and the face of the man she saw fleeing the scene, Linda’s hermit existence helps her cope with debilitating anxiety. But the sanctity of her oasis is shattered when she sees her sister’s murderer on television. Hobbled by years of isolation, Linda resolves to use the plot of her next novel to lay an irresistible trap for the man. As the plan is set in motion and the past comes rushing back, Linda’s memories–and her very sanity–are called into question. Is this man a heartless killer or merely a helpless victim?’
Basically the premise of this book doesn’t really sound that complex, an infamous recluse, Linda, who 11 years ago walked into her sister’s flat maybe minutes after she was murdered and witnessed the killer leaving. Present day, she’s watching TV and sees the killer she remembered from all those years ago who is now a respected journalist. The whole basis of the book is that Linda writes a book detailing the murder of her sister and grants an interview to one person, the murderer, this was ‘the trap’. I loved the sound of it, but when I saw that it was 288 pages it got me thinking, what else is this story about. Surely an interview won’t last for the entire duration of the book!
I loved it, I loved the complexity of the characters and the fact that it directly addresses the traumatic effects death and grieving has on an individuals mental health. Another thing that I loved was that this was a book in a book! Inception much? We get to read each chapter of Linda’s book as it becomes relevant to that particular part of the story in the present day.
Characters: I loved Linda, I thought she was slightly psychotic but I was able to connect and sympathise with her. I also appreciated the development in her character through the duration of this novel, her feelings and emotional break downs felt genuine, it didn’t feel exaggerated, and it also managed to avoid some of the clichés I come across quite often in psychological thrillers. I was so confused throughout the novel, it depicted exactly how blurred the lines are between right and wrong.
Plot: This novel had me so confused the entire time (here we go again). But weirdly enough I enjoyed the confusion, as Linda begins to doubt who committed the murder it also creates a doubt in the reader. Just when I thought I knew definitely what was going on and formed a little theory in my head, doubt was introduced; doubt about who committed it, what actually happened and if Linda is actually sane. If I had one thing to say about this plot was there was such a slow build up to it that at times I’m like okay, when is something actually significant going to happen. That meant that to me the plot seemed a bit rushed, the main event everyone was waiting for happened in a few pages and seemed awfully convenient. This is a spoiler free review so I think I’ll stop here!
Overall I thought that this was a fantastic debut novel, it strayed from the norm in several aspects, and it successfully immersed the reader into the main characters journey. The incorporation of Linda’s new book into the novel I thought was very smart, just when the scene got a bit too intense the author throws in a chapter of Linda’s book to alleviate the mood slightly and bring to light new information that makes the reader think and connect the dots. I definitely recommend this for someone who’s looking for a short psychological thriller that maintains the same intensity throughout the novel and challenges the reader.