The Trap by Melanie Raabe

Twelve years ago, Linda’s life was turned upside down when her sister Anna was murdered.  The police never caught the killer, but Linda saw him that night.

Since then, Linda has completely isolated herself and hasn’t left her house for eleven years.  She makes her living as an author, and has very little contact with the outside world.

Watching TV one evening, she is stunned to see her sister’s killer, now a well-known reporter.  Concerned that the police won’t believe her, she does the only thing she can think of – she writes a novel about a women whose killer is never caught, and agrees to a single media interview, to be held in her house, with the one person who knows more about Anna’s murder than she does.

The trap is set.

The Trap is a psychological thriller, and like many novels of this genre we question the information that is being passed to us.  The narration alternates between Linda’s view point and excerpts of the novel “Blood Sisters” that Linda writes in order to catch Lenzen, the news reporter she recognised on TV.  We know that the set up of “Blood Sisters” is similar to Anna’s murder and the subsequent police investigation.  But there are also inconsistencies, which made me question Linda’s narration.  When combined with Linda’s questionable mental stability – she’s a recluse and likely to be agoraphobic at the very least – the reader has to question whether events happened as we’re led to believe.  This is brilliantly handled in the novel, and I raced through it in order to find out what actually happened on that fateful night.

The characters are well developed, and Linda’s insecurities are subtly highlighted – the break down of her relationships (with her parents and fiancé) following Anna’s murder, as well as her self-imposed exile.  And again we wonder, as do her fans in the novel, why has she retreated in this way?  Admittedly the events surrounding Anna’s murder and seeing her killer would take their toll on anyone, but Linda’s reaction is is extreme.

I really enjoyed The Trap, and I think that it will be a big hit when it’s published in the UK next year.  I also think that it will work brilliantly as a film, and it’s no surprise that the film rights have already been snapped up.  This is Raabe’s début novel, but I look forward to reading more from her in the future.

The Trap will be published in the UK  on 19 May 2016.  Many thanks to Kate Green for providing a copy for review.

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