The Captives: Book summary and reviews of The Captives by Debra Jo Immergut

The Captives

by Debra Jo Immergut

The Captives by Debra Jo Immergut X
The Captives by Debra Jo Immergut
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  • Published in USA  Jun 2018
    288 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

The riveting story of a woman convicted of a brutal crime, the prison psychologist who recognizes her as his high-school crush - and the charged reunion that sets off an astonishing chain of events with dangerous consequences for both.

As an inmate psychologist at a state prison, Frank Lundquist has had his fair share of surprises. But nothing could possibly prepare him for the day in which his high school object of desire, Miranda Greene, walks into his office for an appointment. Still reeling from the scandal that cost him his Manhattan private practice and landed him in his unglamorous job at Milford Basin Correctional Facility in the first place, Frank knows he has an ethical duty to reassign Miranda's case. But Miranda is just as beguiling as ever, and he's insatiably curious: how did a beautiful high school sprinter and the promising daughter of a congressman end up incarcerated for a shocking crime? Even more compelling: though Frank remembers every word Miranda ever spoke to him, she gives no indication of having any idea who he is.

Inside the prison walls, Miranda is desperate and despairing, haunted by memories of a childhood tragedy, grappling with a family legacy of dodgy moral and political choices, and still trying to unwind the disastrous love that led to her downfall. And yet she is also grittily determined to retain some control over her fate. Frank quickly becomes a potent hope for her absolution - and maybe even her escape.

Propulsive and psychologically astute, The Captives is an intimate and gripping meditation on freedom and risk, male and female power, and the urges toward both corruption and redemption that dwell in us all.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Immergut's book begins as in incisive psychological portrait of two mismatched individuals and morphs into a nail-biting thriller." - Publishers Weekly

"[Immergut] has spun an interesting tale with fully realized characters whose ups and downs are compelling, even if sometimes confusing." - Kirkus

"With its see-saw of quixotic emotions, Immergut's stunning debut is a taut psychological drama that explores both Frank's and Miranda's nuanced contemplation of an unimaginable future and an unspeakable past." - Booklist

"Love, particularly early love, never lets us go completely...The Captives unfurls with both speed and authenticity hurling the reader deep into the mysteries of the human heart." - Darcey Steinke, author of Sister Golden Hair and Suicide Blonde

"The Captives is a powerful novel, complex, dark, and enthralling. The story is riveting, all the way to the thrillingly twisted ending. Immergut's brand of literary noir masterfully interweaves points of view, voices, and temporal shifts, with dialogue as sharp and clean as cut glass. Bravo!" - Kate Christensen, author of The Great Man and Blue Plate Special

"The Captives is a compelling story of two disparate individuals, only one of whom believes that consolation is more important than truth." - Susanna Moore, author of In the Cut

"Debra Jo Immergut's psychological thriller had me captivated from the first page. Its two lost souls come together like the meeting of nitrogen and glycerine, a desperate female prisoner and a prison psychologist about to cross the line. A mesmerizing debut." - Janet Fitch, author of White Oleander and The Revolution of Marina M.

"The Captives is psychologically astute and wise with equal doses of power and pain. Immergut mines the depths of the human psyche to reveal how weakness can turn into obsession and how a single misstep can send a life careening off course." - Ivy Pochoda, author of Visitation Street and Wonder Valley

"The Captives knows obsession...The book will lure you to read quickly, sure, yet deeper metaphysical questions will linger...Smart, humanistic...The Captives' characters are pure hunger." - Edie Meidav, author of Kingdom of the Young and Lola, California

"This novel had me completely in its grip...A smart, artful, engrossing read that thrums with a kind of twisted elegance that hearkens back to old school classic noir films and draws you into its 'thrall of dangerous love.'" - Sharon Guskin, author of The Forgetting Time

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More Information

Deborah Jo Immergut worked for many years as a magazine editor and journalist. She was a frequent contributor to the Wall Street Journal and the Boston Globe, and was a winner of the National Magazine Award. She has an MFA from the Iowa Writer's Workshop, and has been awarded a MacDowell and a Michener Fellowship. Her stories also appeared in American Short Fiction and the Antietam Review.

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