Book Review: Traumata by Douglas Renwick

*Trigger Warning* This book deals with PTSD.

Goodreads Blurb

Traumata by Douglas Renwick

In Khuh Tabar, high up in foothills of the Hindu Kush, a young Englishwoman watches her loved-ones die. In 2020, she returns to England, bereaved and broken.

When she discovers the identity of the man who murdered them, her grief turns to anger. She seeks solace from an on-line bereavement support group. One of them advises her to kill him.

Should she honour the ancient code of the Pashtuns and avenge their deaths, risking a life sentence for murder, or abide by the laws of her homeland and live with her anger forever?

Traumata Book Cover



After reading some books recently that didn’t have me turning the pages at the speed of lightning, I was happy to pick up a book that got me excited. Saying that, it didn’t get me excited for the reason I originally thought it would: an exploration of Afghanistan. Instead, I got my favourite “who dunnit” story.

The main suspect in this “who dunnit” story is Melanie. Melanie is an intriguing character but I did feel it hard to connect with her. Or should I say feel empathetic towards her, considering there is probably nothing similar in our respective lives.

All the way through Traumata, I was unsure if Melanie killed “Mr. Nasty” or not. That made for a thrilling read, plus the fact that I wasn’t sure what was Melanie or what was her PTSD talking. I actually learned a lot about PTSD in this book, which more than made up for the information I was expecting to gather about Afghanistan. One of the key points was that sometimes PTSD sufferers can misplace fantasy for reality, hence my comment on not being able to figure Melanie out. In addition, there is also that fact that Melanie’s father is the narrator of this story. We rarely get first hand accounts of what Melanie is actually feeling or thinking, besides the emails she writes/shows to her father.

Unfortunately, my excitement fizzled out by the end of Traumata. I enjoyed the well-thought out telling of Melanie’s trial, but the ending fell a bit flat. Saying that, I can’t deny that this was a great read and it has inspired me to read more books with characters with PTSD. Let me know in the comments if you have any recommendations.

I was sent this book in exchange for an honest review.


  1. Hi. I’m Douglas, author of Traumata. I’ve only just discovered your review, but I just wanted to say thanks so much for it. Much appreciated. Would you like to read my new novel, Perfectly Normal? It’s about a child who wakes up in a secure children’s home and doesn’t know why she’s there. Because she’s suffering from – you’ve guessed it – PTSD. I can send you a copy.

    1. Douglas,
      I have been trying to reach you. I have a few questions about your book. Please email me at the address below
      ssamni AT (replace AT with @)

      I would also like to review your new novel

      1. Hi Juanita – I hope you got my email of yesterday. I would love to answer your questions about Traumata, and I would be thrilled if you were to read my latest book. In case my email didn’t arrive, my address is:-
        I look forward to hearing from you

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