Nixon, Joan Lowery. 2002. The Trap. New York: Dell Yearling.
In Joan Lowery Nixon’s, The Trap, it’s Julie Hollister who is looking forward to a miserable summer. Her Great Uncle Gabe has broken his ankle in a fall and Great Aunt Glenda needs help taking care of him. Julie’s family has decided that she is the one for the job. Her friends and teammates on the Santa Monica swim team will just have to make do without her this summer.
Aunt Glenda and Uncle Gabe live on a remote Texas ranch, Rancho del Oro; and as soon as Julie arrives, she realizes that things are not as tranquil as they appear. Uncle Gabe’s fall may not have been an accident, valuable items are disappearing, and now … well, now, there’s been a suspicious death. Julie is determined to find out what’s going on at Ranch del Oro, but the isolation of the ranch, the absolute darkness at night, and the peculiar occurrences have left her spooked.
I didn’t like being alone in the darkness, so I hurried to the kitchen door and reached for the handle. I tugged, expecting it to open, and was shocked when it didn’t budge. The door was locked.
I hadn’t locked it. I knew I hadn’t. It was the kind of knob with a center button you had to push in and turn. They were so easy for intruders to open with a credit card that everyone in Santa Monica had installed dead bolts for better protection. If I just had a credit card to push the lock back…but I didn’t.
Behind me, I heard the rustle of bushes. Whirling, I pressed my back against the door. Opposite me, at the edge of the clearing, I could sense movement. Shadowy movement I was barely able to make out. Whatever was there was well hidden by the dark night.
But I was out here with it.
Turning, I pounded on the door, yelling in panic, “Aunt Glenda! Help me! Let me in!”
You won’t want to put this mystery thriller down until you figure out The Trap.