You may know Louise as one-half of the writing partnership she has with Mark Edwards, but she also writes on her own, with The Venus Trap being her fifth solo novel.
The novel’s opener goes against popular writing advice of never starting a book with a character waking up in bed, as it starts our protagonist, Jo, doing just that. But that just proves that rules (or in this case advice) can sometimes be safely broken. Jo is fuzzy headed, more so than just from a hangover, but can’t remember what had happened the night before. Regaining that memory becomes more vital when she realises she is handcuffed by her ankle to her bed.
But she’s not alone. Nor is she safe, as the perpetrator of this act is in her flat, with a chilling ultimatum. To convince him that she has fallen in love with her within a week or he will kill her!
This could easily have ended up as quite a dull story, but the author very cleverly weaves backstory into the narrative as Jo regains her memory, revealing more and more about both Jo, and her captor. This method works really well and is testament to Louise’s skill as a writer. As a bloke who finds himself nearer fifty than forty, I am probably not Louise’s target market for this book, but it really worked for me. I found the book to be a great read, with the tension maintained throughout.
This review was from a free advance publication copy supplied to me as a reviewer. The Venus Trap will be published by Thomas and Mercer on 24 Feb 2015.