Review: Trapped 2 by Maria Hernandez

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FF’s Star Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Who says that monsters cannot be loving fathers? After the surprising twist at the end of the skilled Maria Hernandez’ Trapped, we saw the coming together of Angelina Rivera and her wealthy mansion-owning father Victor. In Trapped 2, Hernandez waists no time on shedding some light on this wealthy man that left readers with many questions at the end of the first novel. It has been years since Angelina finally ended things – literally – with Daryl James, the African-American drug dealer turned author who used her purely for her savvy as a businesswoman.

The Daryl problem Angelina had might’ve been solved a long time ago, but now, it looks like the past is intent on catching up. Angel, Daryl’s daughter who is now nineteen years old is now a student studying at Columbia University to become an attorney. The manner in which her father disappeared being the fuel that spurred her on. After enjoying a three-month honeymoon with her husband Manolo, Angelina hears word from her father’s attorney that a professor at Columbia wishes for her to speak with Angel. Angelina allows Angel to interview her in the hopes of making the questions stop, but after the interview, Angel shows no signs of doing so.

Murdering someone surely has a way of changing a person forever. Angelina is not the same person from the first novel. This is something I could grasp within the first few chapters. Hernandez goes on to take readers through those difficult first few months for Angelina after she killed Daryl too, revealing more or less how this transformation happened. The type of person Angelina is now is further shown through the eyes of Angel who, as a child, remembered Angelina as being a loving woman.

During their interview, Angelina had been cold to Angel. Thus, Angelina’s plan to make Angel – who is just as stubborn and unyielding as her father was – look anywhere but in her direction in search for answers pertaining to her missing father backfires because Angelina’s demeanor only succeeds in making Angel more suspicious. Through her character plot, we see how the light of bright futures can easily be snuffed out by personal problems. Angel is supposed to work with other students on the cold case about her father’s disappearance, but she goes it alone, misses classes, and gets expelled because of it (and antagonistic influence). Her boyfriend has a problem with her behavior too. Still, Angel continues her search.

There is no amount of money that can make the act of having murdered someone go away into the mordant oblivion that is history. “Tom placed the briefcase on the coffee table, and when he opened it, Katrina almost fainted. Hundred dollar bills neatly wrapped in paper bands filled its entire space, and a legal document had been placed on top of the cash.” It was Rivera money that had given Katrina the means to give her daughter a comfortable life so that she could grow up to have a good education, but the irony of it all is that Angel, with Angelina’s money, attends Columbia University where Daryl’s disappearance is chosen as a class project. An investment gone awry if you ask me.

To see how dangerous a man the wheelchair-bound and elderly Victor is, one need only look at how those that work for him would think twice about crossing him. But there are clear signs that there is a heart inside the man’s chest because of the love he feels for Angelina and his willingness to stand and walk when his daughter needs him to. He is a powerful man who would do anything for Angelina, but one’s mind is also centered around the knowledge that he is ill. The proof is there that as long as the man is still kicking, he will do anything to protect his daughter.

“Malik’s facial expression showed concern, but inside, he was jumping for joy at the thought of not having to deal with him.” Malik, an African-American drug leader, is smitten with Angelina, but her husband, Manolo, has been an obstacle. When Manolo goes to Cuba to see to his brother, Malik finally has a chance to make his move, but after a little chat Malik has with Angelina’s old man, one isn’t as sure that Malik will get what he wants. Then, the unthinkable happens. Something I didn’t see coming. Something that would make any reader who’ve connected with Angelina – whether through personal experiences or deeper feelings of kinship – too furious to read on for a couple of minutes.

“Trevor Jr. always has a sixth sense when someone is pulling some play, and he told me the other day he really likes Malik, and I like him, too.” Trevor Jr. is the son of Daryl’s best friend Trevor and a woman named Linda, whom Angelina has become good friends with. Hernandez doesn’t really make this trait that Trevor Jr. has stick because its only mentioned once. To my dislike, Angel, at some later point, speculates that Daryl did something to Angelina to piss her off and her speculation is absolutely correct. I strongly feel that this speculation is a weak point because it doesn’t feel realistic. The third person narrative is assumed by a lot of different names – characters from the first novel too – as the author weaves together a variety of plot points, but at the halfway point of the novel I started to look at this novel as if it were a balloon about to pop from all of the proverbial air pumped into it.

I’m appreciative of all the effort Hernandez put into it though. Building upon an already pumped-up eye-popping premise, the author offers way more than I expected. But Hernandez makes it work in the end. Sex, crime, living the life, people scheming, and sporadic twists. Readers who want a look into the high life lived by criminal bosses and those little guys who want what they have will stay up long into the night with this one.

Kindle Edition:

Publisher: MCT Publications, LLC
Date Published: April 8, 2018
Genre: Multicultural
Pages: 422
View on Amazon
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