Monday, February 23, 2015

Review: THE VENUS TRAP by Louise Voss

The Venus TrapFrom the back of the book:
Jo Atkins’ sixteenth year was disastrous: she lost her dad, was assaulted by a stranger, and then had her heart broken. For the last twenty-five years, she’s believed that nothing could ever be as bad again.

She was wrong.

Now, still smarting from her recent divorce, pretty, self-effacing Jo finally gathers the courage to enter the dating scene. She meets Claudio, whom she vaguely remembers from her youth, but after a few dates decides he’s creepy and politely tells him ‘thanks but no thanks’.

But Claudio has no intention of letting her go.
Instead of never seeing him again, Jo wakes up sick and terrified, handcuffed to her own bed. She is given a week to prove her love for Claudio—or he will kill her.

My Review:
Jo, a single mother held captive in her own home by a deranged admirer, Claudio - a former high school acquaintance with delusions of love is forced to reevaluate her sense of self, taking a hard look in the proverbial mirror in order to stay alive and come to terms with the decisions that have left her vulnerable. 

With twists that turn the stomach, Jo's trials and tribulations of twenty years ago are revisited, her pain a pleasure for her captor. A conceptually well executed form of localised survival horror made real by the easiness of the household confinement and uncertainty of finding love in strange places. 

The occasionally repetitive nature of the novel is broken by way of flashback sequences via rediscovered diaries. Being trapped in a room and provoked into violent acts by a madman over the course of a number of days doesn't give the author much room to write diversity into the plot, yet author Louise Voss manages to keep Jo's plight interesting and entertaining.

THE VENUS TRAP is good without being great. Initially I thought it would follow a similar path to the plot in KILLING CUPID, yet THE VENUS TRAP focuses more in providing the reader with a fully formed three dimensional view of Jo; her past, present and future all lay bare along a journey of survival and perseverance. She's a character readers will grow to like despite her flaws. 

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