Review: The Trap by Melanie Raabe

An author living alone in her house for eleven years. She has a dog, she has an assistant, and she has her publisher... and that's it. Linda never leaves her house, not since she found her sister murdered in her apartment. It wasn't just the sight of the dead body that so traumatized her. It was the sight of the murderer crouching in the corner, looking directly at her. She saw him. And he saw her. But then he ran away and she had no idea who he was. The terror he might come for her, combined with the guilt she feels for not saving her sister, not corralling her murderer, and worst of all, being angry with her sister at the time of her death—well, that would drive anyone crazy.

And throughout the majority of the book, we are not entirely sure that Linda hasn't gone crazy. It's a tight first person narrative and it would be an understatement to say that Linda is an unreliable narrator. We, the readers, have a hard time believing her. There are so many reasons not to, and to be honest I struggled to continue reading this. Not because of the writing—it was superb—but because Linda is one of those characters that is hard for me to read. She is not in control of herself, which makes me feel not in control. But I resisted the urge to turn the audiobook off and move to something less panic-inducing. Instead I let the story unfold, and I'm very glad I did.

It's a good book, though not without flaws. I have never suffered from agoraphobia, but as I understand it, going outside after eleven years would be very difficult, probably would inspire panic attacks, even with sufficient motivation to leave. But Linda seems perfectly fine on her first outing, despite her awareness of the real danger she is in. There were a few other false notes, and the book within a book format was at times off putting, but all in all, I feel comfortable recommending this to any psychological thriller fans, especially if you love a good interrogation scene.


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