The Trap by Catherine Ryan Howard

The ending of this book made me furious, and not in a good way. Now, you might be wondering how the hell someone could be furious in a good way. Here’s how the hell. Sometimes, a book (or movie, TV show, etc) might not turn out how you wanted it to. Perhaps you didn’t get the happy ending you wanted, or the opposite occurred where you thought a bit of doom was the proper ending, but everything turned up roses. You might feel tricked and indignant, but you see why the writer took it there. You respect the cleverness of the moment, and with that comes the satisfaction of experiencing the unexpected.

Then, there’s the flipside. Fury, sans the modifier. That’s when those unexpected occurrences do not serve or even undermine the whole plot. That’s what happened to with The Trap. It was a shame because I did enjoy 95% of it. My pulse pounded along with Lucy’s as she attempted to track down the maniac responsible for her sister’s disappearance. I often wanted to slap some sense into her—her investigatory methods were insanely unsafe, even by standard thriller metrics. However, I could understand the twisted grief-driven logic behind it, even if I disagreed with it. Up until the ending. Lucy did not just cross the line between reckless and stupid; she pole-vaulted over it. It made everything that came before seem pointless.

Catherine Ryan Howard is an incredibly talented writer who normally wrangles twists with a master’s touch. This time, things just twisted in the wrong direction.