Book Review: Travma, by Osman Aysu

Like his father, Murat works in the construction trade. Quite successfully. In fact, life couldn’t be better. Business is thriving, and his personal life even more so with the clever, vibrant Derya beside him, perhaps soon to be his wife. Of course, such perfection cannot last, and in Murat’s case, the idyllic image of his life is shattered one night when his mind is assaulted by a most disturbing nightmare. Racing into a house atop a hill and climbing the steps to the top floor, he finds his beloved naked and bound to a table. And before his very eyes, Murat witnesses Derya’s murder at the hands of a cruel, sinister, and faceless man.

So opens Osman Aysu’s haunting tale entitled Trauma. It is not the first time Murat has suffered from these visions in his sleep. Nor will it be the last. The reader accompanies Murat through various manifestations of his nightmares, apparently coming closer and closer to a dark, disturbing truth that underlies them all, memories of a traumatic event from his childhood that his mind simply could not bear. Can he manage to uncover the truth before the visions drive him insane?

Trauma is an engaging story, fairly well written, of course by an author who has penned numerous novels of crime fiction and suspense. I quite enjoyed the twists of this story, the sense of mystery enveloping the nightmares—could they be supernatural in origin? Is Murat being haunted by the spirit of a man who has been dead for years, yet who apparently just recently visited Murat’s father? As often happens with Osman Aysu’s tales, I rather quickly became irritated by the narrator’s persistently repetitious details, unnecessary observations made by the protagonist again and again. I would prefer watching the action unfold before me than be repeatedly told what is happening and what has already happened and what might happen next. Still, the story kept me reading until the end, eager at least to see the mystery unravel.