Why We Love It: The Trap is a gripping psychological thriller with a literary difference. Fact and fiction blur as we race towards the dramatic conclusion, never quite sure what to expect next.
Linda Conrads caught a glimpse of the man who murdered her sister and got away with it. Although it’s been twelve years, she has never been able to get his face out of her head. It haunts her, leading Linda to retreat from everyday life and stay in locked in her home, where she writes bestselling literary novels and leads a peaceful but isolated existence with her dog Bukowski.
Until one day Linda sees that face again – on her TV. He’s now a respected journalist, and Linda doesn’t have a scrap of evidence to link him to the crime. So she concocts a plan. The tragic loss of her sister becomes the foundation for her next novel, and for the first time ever, Linda is going to allow herself to be interviewed. With her book and fame as bait, Linda is pulling him into a trap.
This is certainly a novel that keeps you guessing. It’s been over a decade since Linda was at the scene of the crime, and she is constantly testing the limits of her own memory and playing around with visions of the possible future. As a writer Linda is imaginative and clever, and the snippets we get of the novel she’s working on, Blood Sisters, are an interesting narrative device. Blood Sisters has its own distinct style, and readers are constantly on the lookout for the parallels we know exist between the fictitious novel in progress and Linda’s own history.
Translated from German by Imogen Taylor, The Trap is the debut of author Melanie Raabe, who says she got ‘goosebumps’ when she was first inspired to write this protagonist. The idea of an author who doesn’t leave the house, who lives in a world of her own making where memory reigns supreme, became the catalyst for the rest of the story. What Raabe does masterfully is build tension. Since the book is told in first person, we spend much of The Trap inside Linda’s head and as she stumbles towards the truth, so do we. Like Linda, we dread the moment she will come face to face with her sister’s killer, but also cannot wait for that scene to arrive. There is so much to lose, the fear is palpable – and the story is only really beginning.
The film rights to The Trap have already been acquired, and it’s not hard to see why. You’ll be engrossed every step of the way, ferociously turning the pages and second guessing who to trust, all the while getting caught up in a ‘novel within a novel.’ Can Linda really rely on what she saw that day? Was her murdered sister Anna truly as pure and perfect as she remembers? Is there more to the crime than meets the eye? You may just have to take the bait and find out.
Melanie Raabe is an actor, blogger, interviewer, stage play and screen writer. She has her own interview blog (www.biographilia.com) and has received several prizes for her scripts and short stories. She is now living in Cologne, and on the lookout for her next adventure.