The Trap

Written by Melanie Raabe

Review written by Angela Hatherell


The Trap
Pan Main Market Ed
RRP: £7.99 /£7.55
Released: January 12, 2017
Pbk & eBook

This is a fascinating book, written in the present tense from the perspective of Linda Conrads, a successful writer of fiction. Suffering from intense anxiety, ever since she came upon the murdered body of her sister 12 years ago; she has not left her house since, living the life of a recluse. She is looked after by Charlotte, who takes care of all her daily needs, and is visited by her literary agent; otherwise she sees nobody.

Then one day, while watching television, she sees a face that she recognises; it is a face that remains etched in the darkest edges of her consciousness – forever trapped in her memory. She recognises the face from her past. The face was of the man she saw fleeing, as she viewed her sister’s blood-stained body. She learns his name – Victor Lenzen - an investigative journalist.

The reclusive Linda Conrads then decides upon a plan.

Journalist Lenzen agrees to interview this mysterious writer for a feature; and so a trap is set. A prolonged battle of wits ensues, and this continues throughout the book.

It can’t be easy to write a full novel in the present tense; always inside Linda’s head, but Melanie Raabe succeeds, bestowing the narrative a deeply claustrophobic atmosphere. The translation from the German is equally successful, resulting in a beautifully written debut that conveys the inner anxiety of an agoraphobic; yet evoking an outwardly peaceful landscape, in stark contrast.

I hope that Melanie Raabe will continue to produce books of this quality, as this is a fine debut, and one that makes this reader ache for more.


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