The Trap (2015) – Melanie Raabe


There is an immediacy to Melanie Raabe’s debut novel, The Trap, which sees its English release this week, via House of Anansi Press here in Toronto. Translated from German the captivating tale draws the reader into the world that she has created, much as her character, author Linda Conrads, is drawn into the situations she writes, a blurring of reality and fiction that keeps the reader off-balance as the rapid-paced thriller ratchets it up notch after notch.

This is a novel, that barring my work schedule, and the occasional need to sleep, I would have read in one sitting. I couldn’t put it down!

Linda Conrads is a reclusive novelist, the public hasn’t seen her in 11 years; she never leaves her home, but cranks out novels in a timely basis. She is haunted by the unsolved murder of her sister, and is trapped by the memories of that night, as she watched the killer flee. When the past and present collide with the discovery that her sister’s murderer is alive, well, and a respected journalist,Victor Lenzen, she crafts a trap in which to finally ensnare the man who took everything from her and get justice that is long overdue.

She will write the story of her sister’s murder, in a new book, and she will grant only one interview, to Lenzen. Her trap is set.

The book weaves between Linda’s real world pursuits and those of the characters in her new novel, Blood Sisters, and we see the parallels between her life and her story. Her own life a dark reflection of the idealized resolutions of her writing.


In what plays out as an incredibly well-crafted and written sequence, the interview sequence of the book is taut, unnerving and completely spellbinding. And it is here that the revelations come fast and hard, what if Linda’s memories are wrong? And what if Lenzen is innocent?

Raabe keeps things right on edge until the last pages of the book, and the resolution works perfectly, as fears and truths are confronted.

This is perfect summer fare, a lightning-paced read with an involving leading character, a plot that keeps you guessing, just as it does Linda, and a very satisfying ending, that leaves me wondering what Raabe will come up with next.

Even if thrillers aren’t you’re usual fare, this one is definitely not your typical thriller, and is very much worth your time. Pick it up, read it, and share it!

Raabe captivates and entertains, and this one is not to be missed!




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