The Captives by Debra Jo Immergut

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The Captives by Debra Jo Immergut

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Category: Crime
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Megan Kenny
Reviewed by Megan Kenny
Summary: The Captives is a gripping page turner, perfect for stolen summer afternoons. Debra Jo Immergut has created a vivid, captivating debut which is sure to keep the reader guessing until the final page.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 400 Date: June 2018
Publisher: Titan Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1785657542

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Miranda Greene, a woman with the world at her feet, is behind bars. Convicted and confined she languishes in a prison of her own making. After signing up for sessions with the prison counsellor, seeking a way to end her misery, Miranda sets in motion a chain of events that will alter the lives of all involved. In a twist of fate, the prison psychologist is a former schoolmate, a schoolmate with a crush not dampened by the intervening years. Faced with the girl of his dreams, how far will Frank go to make her remember him?

The Captives is a gripping page turner, perfect for the summer and a lazy afternoon stolen. The story is told from both Miranda and Frank's perspective in alternating chapters which ensures the story moves at a ripping pace. Immergut manages to master both voices leading to a tale which sings with two diverging narratives, with both sides striving for their own personal absolution. Immergut skilfully weaves together the words of these unreliable narrators leading to a vividly unsettling tale.

This is a story of obsession, of redemption and the ways in which our adolescent scars shape our adulthood. It is possible to feel both empathy and annoyance simultaneously throughout The Captives, highlighting the strength of Immergut's writing. The cast of characters are well developed and realistic and the story is filled with enough mystery and plot twists to keep the reader guessing. Immergut has clearly researched the backgrounds of her characters and uses the American Psychological Association guidelines to shape the chapters, a tool which helps illuminate Frank's descent into professional and personal ruin.

It is clear that Immergut is a talented writer and this is an accomplished debut. My only criticism would be that the ending is slightly opaque and its not clear to see the motivation behind Miranda's actions. This shouldn't deter readers, as Immergut has crafted an ending which both moves the reader and leaves them puzzling over it long after turning the final page.

If you like your thrillers twisted and your characters complex, look no further than the work of Gillian Flynn. You could try Sharp Objects, Gone Girl or The Grownup.

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Buy The Captives by Debra Jo Immergut at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Captives by Debra Jo Immergut at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy The Captives by Debra Jo Immergut at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Captives by Debra Jo Immergut at


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