I was sent a copy of The Trap by Melanie Raabe for review, as part of Mumsnet Book Club. This is Raabe’s debut novel.
The Trap is written from the perspective of Linda, a successful and reclusive novelist whose sister Anna was murdered twelve years ago. Although Linda saw the murderer leave the scene, he was never caught. At the beginning of the book, she sees him on TV by chance, and realises he is a successful news reporter. She hatches a plan to write a novel based entirely upon her sister’s murder. Although she is famously reclusive and does not give media interviews, she plans to give just one interview on the release of this book – to her sister’s killer. She will make him confess.
In the middle section of the book, chapters of the story we’re following are interspersed with chapters from Linda’s book, showing her fictionalisation of what really happened at the time including discussions between herself and the police officer investigating the murder.
I enjoyed reading this book; there were lots of twists and turns that kept me guessing. The pace of it was a bit “off” for me though; there seemed to be parts that moved very quickly, and others that didn’t. For example, one minute she’s deciding to write this fictional account of her sister’s killing; the next she’s arranging an interview because it’s being released next week. I found it hard to keep up with the timeline of events.
There were a couple of parts that were very clever and kept me guessing; lots of cliff hangers at the end of chapters which were usually followed by the chapters from the book the character has written, which meant the reader was kept guessing even longer about what would happen next in the “real” story.
I found it a very engaging and interesting read that definitely kept me turning the pages, and I finished it quite quickly. The story is put together very cleverly and plays out well – but I did find the ending a little too neat and perhaps a bit clichéd when it comes to the final scenes with the police investigator. That doesn’t take away from the fact this is a very well written, well thought out story though – and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys a psychological thriller.