Melanie Raabe
Melanie Raabe

Last summer, film rights to the debut novel of German writer Melanie Raabe (born in what was previously known as East Germany to a Beninese father – Benin being the West African country), titled “The Trap,” were acquired by TriStar Pictures (a division of Sony Pictures) – a novel which, at the time, had yet to be published in the USA yet.

I was informed this morning that “The Trap” is out today, July 5, at your favorite online or offline bookstore, courtesy of publishing house Grand Central. Pick up a copy on Amazon right now.

I also learned that playwright and “Carol” screenwriter Phyllis Nagy has been tapped to script the adaptation of Raabe’s “The Trap,” although no production ETA has been given yet.

Apparently, the novel was of great interest to Hollywood producers, so much that there was a bidding war for film rights to it. So what’s its story?

“The Trap” follows Linda Conrads, a best-selling novelist who is haunted by a terrible event in her past — the day she discovered the blood-soaked body of her sister Anna and caught a glimpse of the killer’s face. Years later, Linda is still traumatized by the unsolved crime and has not left her home in 11 years. One day, while watching television, she sees the killer’s face again – it belongs to the high-profile journalist Victor Lenzen. She decides to set a trap to catch Victor – by writing a thriller based story on the death of her sister and promote the book through one interview, with Victor.

The book also sparked an intense international bidding war, and sold in multiple territories and languages worldwide. Given all the excitement around it, I certainly can’t wait to read it now that an English-language version is available in the USA. I’m especially fond of smart, twisty, thrillers, which is what this reads like. I’ve already ordered a copy.

Producer Elizabeth Cantillon (the upcoming Will Smith NFL film “Concussion”) and Josh Bratman have teamed up to produce for Sony Pictures.

Of course, at this time, it’s anyone’s guess how Sony plans to cast this. It’s not clear that the author Raabe specifies the protagonist’s race or ethnicity in the novel (I’ll find out when I read it), so it could be cast in any number of ways. And even if Raabe does, Sony could still decide to cast an actress that doesn’t look like the character as described in the novel. It’s happened countless times before.

Being that this is her debut novel, I unfortunately couldn’t find very much on Melanie Raabe online. But with the novel starting to travel, with growing popularity, on its way to becoming a Hollywood studio movie, I’m sure she won’t be a “mystery” for much longer. I did find her on Twitter – – if you want to follow.

This is probably the dream of many writers; for a newbie writer, especially, to have your very first published novel draw this much interest from publishers, and also be picked up by a major Hollywood studio for adaptation.

By the way, the original (non-English) title of the novel is “Die Falle.”

Pick up a copy of “The Trap” by clicking on the image below:

Grand Central Publishing
Grand Central Publishing