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The Captives

2.89  ·  Rating details ·  1,114 ratings  ·  184 reviews
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
Hardcover, 276 pages
Published June 5th 2018 by Ecco
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Average rating 2.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,114 ratings  ·  184 reviews

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May 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Frank Lundquist is a psychologist at the Milford Basin Correctional Facility for Women. He recently suffered a scandal that led him to close his very successful private practice in Manhattan. The basement office of a women's prison is not the future he had envisioned for himself. With his failed marriage and a heroin addicted younger brother things in his life seem to be in a constant downward spiral.

Then one day she walks into the room. She's a new inmate at Milford Basin and also Frank's high
Jan 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Here is yet another book where the cover is too YA for the content. Anyway, we know from the onset that a crime has been committed because high school ‘it’ girl is, many years later, in prison. While incarcerated she comes under the care of a former classmate who is now a psychologist. This guy was (and still is) obsessed with her. It is clear that both characters exist in captivity. One in obvious ways and the other in ways that are less apparent. What follows is a spellbinding psychological ...more
May 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: physical-arcs
I haven’t seen much early buzz about The Captives and I’m not sure why, the blurb alone is eye catching and the cover caught my eye immediately as well, and then I started reading this gem. A profound and sharply intelligent crime novel is a rarity, don’t get me wrong, I love my crime fiction and devour it weekly, but most of the books that fall under the umbrella of CF don’t hold a candle to The Captives, this is a special book from an incredibly talented writer, they type I won’t soon forget.

Zuky the BookBum
This is one of those novels where I’m a bit conflicted about my feelings. At one moment I loved it, at another I found myself a little underwhelmed.

I thought the characterisation in this novel was fantastic, especially when getting to know Frank. Since the book revolves around just 2 main characters and follows each of their mindsets closely, we, as readers, get a deep insight into their thoughts, feelings and lives. I personally preferred getting to know Frank as I found his story more
Natalie M
Very commercial, very bland, forgettable for the most part. Worth the time - probably not. Redeeming qualities- a slightly different plot and not too long winded. Lacks in pretty much every area.
Jun 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, 2018-release
I have seen basically zero hype for The Captives, and I can’t figure out why because it’s a great thriller. It has all the elements I want: an interesting hook, complex characters (each with their own dark side), and that disorienting feeling that comes when you realize you can’t trust any of them to tell the truth. Seriously, how is no one talking about this book?!

Frank is a therapist, relegated to an unglamorous role at a women’s prison after a public fall from grace. When Miranda walks into
Jun 24, 2018 rated it did not like it
You know the saying: don't judge a book by its cover.

But, in this case, it applies.

I should have known The Captives was going to disappoint by the cheesy cover alone.

** Warning! Spoilers include sexual predatory behavior and too many insta-love moments **

The YA-like story concerns Frank Lundquist, who is relegated to counseling at a women's prison after a client of his commits an atrocious crime. He is shocked to see that one of his patients is none other than Miranda Greene, the object of
Jul 01, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery, real-stinker
I had a hard time understanding what, exactly, was going on through much of this book, but kept slogging along thinking that all would be revealed to me. Well, I got to the end and still didn't understand. But you know what? I don't care.
Liz Barnsley
Jun 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review to follow as part of the blog tour.
Mark Day
Jun 12, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Once again I have been let down by placing my trust in critic reviews. Book Browse shortlisted this novel so I jumped aboard the publicity train and wasted my money. The reader is asked to buy into a plot where a prison psychologist is willing to throw away his life and career in order to be a big daddy to an inmate who was the object of his adolescent sexual infatuation. The sub-plots were equally melodramatic and shallow. This whole novel was suitable for a soap opera or a made for TV movie. ...more
Mandy White
Jul 11, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible
I was a bit disappointed with this one to be honest. Part of the story was really good but Frank and his obsession was just annoying. Great narrators helped though.
Jamie beauty_andthebook_
3.5 Review to come!
Janelle | She Reads with Cats
Thank you so much to Ecco Books for providing my free copy of THE CAPTIVES by Debra Jo Immergut - all opinions are my own.

Frank Lundquist is a psychologist at the Milford Basin Correctional Facility. He’s had some professional setbacks that landed him this very undesirable job, but when his new patient Miranda Greene walks through the door, everything changes. He had a big crush on her in high school and she’s still as charming as ever, but she doesn’t seem to remember who he is. Miranda is
Jan 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
*3.5 Stars

I’m always intrigued by stories that involve seemingly good people who end up making really bad decisions. What compels them to take a particular path? How easy is it for them to push their morality and ethics aside? The Captives piqued my interest very early on. I was drawn into the characters’ lives and wanted to know what made them tick.

Whenever I’m reading, I like to put myself in the characters’ shoes. As a prison psychologist, what would I do if my high school crush walked into
Jul 10, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
DNF at page 182.
Megan (ReadingRover)
Ugh. This was supposed to be a suspense novel but it was just kind of meh. Miranda was the mysterious criminal but Frank was really the creepy one. He was kind of like Joe in You by Caroline Kepnes only in a more controlled situation. He was totally obsessed and irrational. Granted less threatening for the most part than a Joe like obsessor and much less interesting but still and awkward weirdo. This guy had no game. Also, I was really bored for most of the book. There was no build up and why ...more
Stephen Kiernan
Jun 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic, compelling, funny and dark. This is a terrific new novel with a fresh voice and penetrating prose.
Into the office of a prison psychologist with a checkered past waltzes the girl he had an unrequited crush on in high school. Professional ethics say he should immediately hand her to another practitioner, but instead he takes her on as a client, and increasingly as an obsession. But she's no ordinary girl. She's a convicted killer.
Minimal violence but plenty of tension, vivid scenes,
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book by Debra Jo Immergut that I have had the pleasure of reading and reviewing but judging by how much I enjoyed this book, it certainly won’t be the last book by her that I read. I really did enjoy it but more about that in a bit.
Miranda and Frank are two people, who knew each other back when they were in the same year at school. Frank had a crush on Miranda but she knows nothing about it. They reunite in the most desperate of circumstances. Miranda is currently incarcerated
Alan Teder
Some Surprising Twists
Review of the Ecco hardcover (2018) edition.

I picked up The Captives based on its nomination for the 2019 Edgar Award for Best First Novel and was not disappointed. This has a setup which in less imaginative hands might have ended up as a conventional redemption story i.e. both protagonists have issues, each of them solves that of the other, the psychologist's career is redeemed, the prisoner is proven innocent and is freed: BUT THIS IS NOT THAT NOVEL There are some fairly
Charlie Smith
May 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
I've fallen behind. In everything. And although I have finished reading nine books since my last Reading post on April 23 (and tossed aside three more after having reached between page 50 and 100), I'm choosing to focus on only one because I want to use what little influence I have to encourage its wider readership and I worry it will be lost in the glut of novels promoted as summer/beach reads, misrepresented by comparisons with all those novels with Girl or Train or Window in their titles, ...more
Sep 23, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

“She looked away from that mocking face. She glimpsed, way in the distance, far across the fields, a ruffle of blue mountains. At the sight of them, a notion arrived. I’m free. I’m out. I’m gone. I’m the new driver.”

For me The Captives is the literary equivalent of a fine dining experience ... exquisite plating, only the very finest ingredients, impeccable atmosphere, serving sizes accentuating quality over quantity ... that leaves me hungry after the experience is over. Brilliant
Bernard B.
May 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my favorite kind of novel, smart searing portraits of real people that is also an ingenious psychological thriller. It delves psychology and American prisons, following Frank, a psychologist at a state prison, who, in the course of his professional work with inmates runs into his high school crush, Miranda Greene. She's as beguiling as ever, but doesn't remember him. What follows is a riveting narrative that moves with velocity even as it gains psychological and emotional depth.
Isabel Smith
Debra Jo Immergut’s debut novel is about the magnetic relationship between a troubled prison psychologist named Frank Lundquist and the inmate who changes the course of his life forevermore. The moment Miranda Greene walks into one of his counseling sessions at a women’s prison in New York, Frank immediately recognizes her as his former high school crush. Frank’s not sure she even knew he existed, and he’s almost certain Miranda doesn’t recognize him at their therapy session. One thing is ...more
Donna Hines
Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library-holds
Desperation. Depression. Desire.
Male privilege and power is at the top of its game with incarceration being utilized for personal gain.
The Captives is in a league all its own with crimininality and professionalism butting head to head.
Miranda Green our main character is a broken soul. A Congressman's daughter facing serious jail time for 2nd degree murder in a location that will have you checking yourself non stop.
Frank Lundquist is the man in charge her psychologist on site who is hoping for
Jun 22, 2018 rated it really liked it

Frank Lundquist, is a psychologist at a women's state prison. One day his high school object of desire, Miranda Greene, walks into his office for a skull session but does not recognize him. Miranda was the popular "it" girl with a seemingly charmed suburban life, but now she's serving a 52-year sentence for second-degree murder. How did she end up here? What went wrong? Frank wants desperately to help her, but this is an ethical dilemma for him. Still, he can't resist and becomes obsessed with
Sep 14, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
You know that scene in the movie where you're screaming at the hero: "Don't go in there!". Well this whole book is like that. Our hero here is an idiot. A disgraced psycho-therapist who has taken a job at a woman's correctional facility, because it's the last place he can work, then proceeds to ensure that he'll never be able to work again due to his continued stupidity. One of his patients is an old high school flame that he was madly in love with, and who, for her part never even noticed him. ...more
Absolutely ridiculous and unbelieveable plot. Would take much more character building and narrative to pull that off.

Boring. So many unimportant things dragged on and on; the important and critical parts of the story glossed over.

Had no idea what was going on as the characters kept switching back and forth between present and future and it was unclear. If it was a style choice, it failed.
May 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
For most of this mystery I couldn't understand why Alan was so taken by it, but the gradual exposition in the last quarter of the book was skilled and provoked a good deal of emotion with me. Unusual, and well done : )
Dec 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A strange and haunting tale of two dysfunctional people whose meeting trigger events that change their lives forever. Cleverly told, if a bit wordy, but a fascinating read, ironically related with references to the ethical code of clinical psychologists.
j e w e l s
Aug 12, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

SORRY GUYS. I can't do it. This book does not work on audio. The female narrator is way too chirpy and unbelievable, describing her time in prison as an inmate. UGH. I really can't stand the inauthentic-ness....

The story looks interesting, but I'm not buying it.
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What is up with that ending?! 1 2 Oct 20, 2019 05:22AM  

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Debra Jo Immergut is the author of the novel The Captives, (June 2018), and Private Property, a short-story collection. She is a MacDowell and Michener fellow and has an MFA from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. A magazine editor and journalist, she has also taught writing in libraries, military bases, and prisons. Her work has been published in American Short Fiction, Narrative, and the ...more
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“We age, we grow, we struggle very diligently to evolve and progress, but by some inescapable law of nature, the teenage self remains the essential self. The unalterable core. You can run from it, but it will run with you.” 2 likes
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