ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK
----- This is the second crime fiction novel I've read recently that has come out of Germany. The first was The Truth and Other Lies
by Sascha Arango
and now The Trap
by Melanie Raabe
. Both have been debut novels, both have featured writing and story-telling of the highest order, both have Imogen Taylor as translator and both come from Text Publishing. And both feature fictional
authors with secrets to hide.
Another common element is that both authors have links with the dramatic arts, Arango being an award-winning screenplay writer and Raabe being an actor as well as a stage and screenwriter. I mention this because there is a freshness to the intensity of each novel that I think comes about because the authors know they are writing for a sophisticated audience who, having read many thrillers and seen many crime television shows and movies, are very knowledgable of the tropes of the genre.
Over four days I was drawn in to the hermetic world of Linda Conrads, an author who, despite considerable success, is unable to leave her house due to trauma brought on by her being the sole witness to the escaping murderer of her sister. The murderer was never caught and in the twelve years that have since passed, her illness has meant all her contact with the outside world is through technology and a small cohort of colleagues such as her publisher and agent. Linda Conrads is, despite her wish to be well again, the mysterious reclusive author. Then, on television, she sees the face of the murderer.
Written in the first person, it doesn't take long for the reader to be cocooned in the hothouse paranoia that exists in Linda Conrads' head as she devises a trap to draw out her sister's murderer and extract a confession. This is a super-taut psycho-thriller.
p.s. Melanie Raabe doesn't have a sister and her brother is alive and well.
"I know who killed my sister. I wrote this book for him."
Twelve years ago, Linda's sister Anna was murdered. Her killer was never caught, but Linda saw him.
Now, all these years later, she's just seen him again on TV.
He's become a well-known journalist, and Linda–a famous novelist and infamous recluse–knows no one will believe her if she accuses him.
She does the only thing she can think of: she sets a trap, writing a thriller called Blood Sisters about the unsolved murder of a young woman.
When Blood Sisters is published, Linda agrees to give just one media interview.
To the one person who knows more about the case than she does...