Happy publication day to Dreda Say Mitchell for this excellent psychological thriller!
I couldn’t put this one down! It’s a really gripping page-turner; sometimes spooky; a bit chilling; unputdownable!
At the age of 18, Rachel suffered a series of shocking tragedies: her mother died; she was attacked by someone she should have been able to trust, which led to an unimaginable accident and the death of her closest friend at the time.
It’s now 10 years later and Rachel is, to put it mildly, a bit of a mess! She’s spiralled into seemingly insurmountable debt, and is about to become homeless. Her only friend in the world, a quirky, laid-back but likeable oddball called Jed, is allowing her to rent a room in the house he shares with various other people. He’s told her that this can only be for a short time and everyone else has made it clear that they want her gone ASAP … like yesterday! They’re openly hostile towards her – but she has nowhere else to go. She’s also jobless, with zero prospects.
But then, out of the blue, she’s contacted by someone called Michael, who said that Jed put in a good word for her. He offers her a position in his management consultancy start-up, telling her that her lack of experience is actually an advantage, as she’ll learn on the job. Could things finally be looking up for Rachel?
Her first few days go well. Michael is encouraging, and his PA, Joanie is a nurturing, mother-figure who’s always on hand with a cup of tea and chocolate finger biscuits! But for some reason, Rachel feels uneasy. There’s just something about her new workplace that she can’t put her finger on – it could be the memorial plaque outside stating that 100 years ago 22 young women died in the basement of the building as the result of a fire. They’d been unable to escape as they worked in the sweatshop down below, locked in, with no way to get out!!
And then, without warning, Rachel is informed that she will no longer be working in her own office opposite Joanie’s. She’s told that she will now work on specific projects with a team of workers she hadn’t even known existed … in the basement. And that’s when things really take a turn for the worse. With her housemates becoming increasingly antagonistic and unpleasant, Rachel becomes desperate. She realises that she needs to call on the one person she swore would never be an option: her father. And that’s when things really become exceedingly bizarre!
This is a brilliant thriller, woven on a bed of family secrets and lies. Dreda See Mitchell takes an intense journey into the damage that can be done to one’s psyche – actually in this case, to numerous people, in various diverse ways. It’s sad and immensely disturbing. Can the ravages of the past be repaired?
I really liked Rachel, and immediately wanted to champion her cause! I was so anxious for her to come out of her dreadful ordeal and be safe and cared for. But I think my favourite character is definitely Keats! So hurt and betrayed by family and choosing to be a non-entity: invisible and ignored; a shadow-person; friendless and unimportant – but obviously ending up being so much more than that! To me, Keats is the hero of the piece, bravely bearing the scars that I think so many of us carry so deep within us.
This is a 5-star read that I highly recommend (although maybe not late at night)!
Dreda Say Mitchell is an award-winning, bestselling crime writer, broadcaster, campaigner, and journalist. Since her sixth book she has been co-writing with Tony Mason. She is the author of eleven novels, with her debut awarded The CWA’s John Creasey Dagger. She has been a frequent guest on television and radio including Question Time, BBC Breakfast, Newsnight, Victoria Derbyshire, The Stephen Nolan Show, Front Row and Woman’s Hour and numerous others. She has presented Radio 4’s Open Book. Dreda was named one of Britain’s 50 Remarkable Women by Lady Geek in association with Nokia. She was the 2011 chair of the Harrogate Crime Fiction Festival. Dreda and Tony’s work is currently in development for TV. She was born and raised in the East End of London where she continues to live.
‘As good as it gets.’ Lee Child
[Quite honestly, if Lee Child gives a recommendation like that, then … WOW! You’ve arrived!!]
Thank you to Bloodhound Books for inviting me along for publication day. Why not take a look at what other bloggers have said about Trap Door …