Monday 4 September 2023

The Trap by Catherine Ryan Howard BLOG TOUR #TheTrap @cathryanhoward @TransworldBooks @RandomTTours #BookReview


Stranded on a dark road in the middle of the night, a young woman accepts a lift from a passing stranger. It's the nightmare scenario that every girl is warned about, and she knows the dangers all too well - but what other choice does she have?

As they drive, she alternates between fear and relief - one moment thinking he is just a good man doing a good thing, the next convinced he's a monster. But when he delivers her safely to her destination, she realizes her fears were unfounded.

And her heart sinks. Because a monster is what she's looking for.

She'll try again tomorrow night. But will the man who took her sister take the bait?

The Trap by Catherine Ryan Howard was published by Bantam / Transworld on 17 August 2023. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy as part of this #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour 

Ohh, this is a twisty read full of unexpected surprises, packed with characters who range from the most insidious of voices, to those who you want to keep safe. A story that kept me gripped over a Bank Holiday weekend. I read this in a couple of sittings, glued to the pages as the plot slowly unfolded. 

The opening chapter find a young woman, in the early hours of the morning, walking along a deserted road. When a car pulls up beside her, she gets in. The reader is privy to her thoughts and it is a little bit terrifying at first, and then that hook is dropped! It's not what we thought, although it's not quite what Lucy thought either! 

Operation Tide is the name of the police investigation into missing women in Wexford, Ireland. So far, there are three women who have vanished, although Tide wasn't established until the third one. Lucy, whose sister Nikki has been missing for a very long time gets angry when she thinks about the time wasted that could have been spent looking for Nikki. She's angry that nothing happened until a pretty, seventeen-year-old went missing. She's desperate to know where Nikki is, and what happened, and has she suffered. Is she alive?  Lucy has her own way of trying to find out, and it's dangerous and she knows it. 

The two lead players in Operation Tide are Denise, the Family Liaison Officer, and Angela, a civilian in the Missing Persons Unit who is determined to become a Guard, if she can ever pass the fitness test. Denise is keen to involve Angela in the operation, she recognises someone who is clever and able to take orders. Denise gives lots of orders, and whilst she is blunt and forceful, she's a damn good copper. 

Woven between the chapters that concern the investigation are chapters told from the point of view of the unknown person who is responsible for the crimes. These chapters are so very creepy, the reader can imagine this guy, sitting in his car, justifying his actions and comparing himself to a mountain climber. These parts add a dark tension to the story and are very clever. 

The Trap is told through many voices, with varying points of view and can be quite complex at times. However it is thrilling and engaging story, with a few reveals that really surprised me. 

With an ending that will leave the reader wondering and pondering (I love those type of endings), this is a great psychological thriller packed with a colourful cast of characters and with an incredible sense of place. Recommended

It's worth reading the Author Notes at the back of the book. Catherine Ryan Howard talks about some true-life cases of missing women in Ireland, and of course, this sent me down a fascinating Google rabbit hole.

CATHERINE RYAN HOWARD is an internationally bestselling author from Cork, Ireland. 

Her work has been shortlisted for the CWA's John Creasey New Blood and Ian Fleming Steel Dagger awards, and in 2019 her novel THE LIAR'S GIRL was a finalist for the Edgar Award for Best Novel. 
THE NOTHING MAN was a no. 1 bestseller in her native Ireland. 
She currently lives in Dublin, where she divides her time between the desk and the sofa.

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