Friday, 6 January 2017

The Trap - Melanie Raabe

I know who killed my sister.

I wrote this novel for him.

Twelve years ago, Linda's sister Anna was murdered. Her killer was never caught, but Linda saw him. Now, all these years on, she's just seen him again. On TV.

He has since become a well-known reporter, and Linda - a famous novelist and infamous recluse - knows no one will believe her if she accuses him, so she does the only thing she can think of: she writes a thriller about a woman who is murdered, her killer never caught. When the book is published, she agrees to give just one media interview. At home. To the one person who knows more about the case than she does.

He knows what happened that night and she wrote a book about it but, when the doorbell rings, neither of them can be sure how the story will end.

What did I think?

I really liked the sound of this book: a battle of wits between the victim's sister and the murderer.  How very clever to write a book about a murder in order to trap the murderer, which Linda plans to do without ever leaving her home.  A home that has become her self-inflicted prison and her whole world.

Linda Conrads is a reclusive author.  She has chosen to live her life behind closed doors, never stepping over the threshold into the outside world for the last 11 years.  A world that no longer contains her sister, Anna, who was brutally murdered 12 years ago.  It was Linda who found her sister's body and also glimpsed the killer as he fled the scene.  Now, 12 years later, Linda sees his face on TV reporting on a news story, so she hatches a plan to get Victor Lenzen to confess to Anna's murder.  Linda writes a book about her sister's murder containing facts only the murderer will know and invites Lenzen to interview her about the new novel.  Will Lenzen take the bait or is Linda's memory of events not as clear as she thought?

I absolutely rocketed through The Trap and thought it was really unusual to have a book within a book, as we are treated to chapters from Linda's new book.  I didn't really warm to Linda, though.  She seemed a bit one-dimensional as I never really felt as if I knew what she was feeling - perhaps something was lost in translation from German to English.  The story itself, however, is tense and gripping as events unfold and a shadow is cast over Linda's memories - has she remembered events as they really happened, or is she remembering only what she wants to remember?  Linda may be stuck inside her house but the reader was stuck inside Linda's head, sifting through the confusion to get to the truth.  

I think The Trap is well worth reading as long as you remember that it has been translated from German, so the characters may not be as well developed as they might be in their mother tongue.  If you're looking for a fast-paced, tense, mindbender then you'll love this, but will you be able to separate fact from fiction in The Trap?

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon

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