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New York Times Book Review Top Pick:  6 Pulse-Pounding Thrillers to Read This Summer 


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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.

Published by Ecco Books, an imprint of HarperCollins


A swift, clever two-hander. . . . A novel of ideas [that] reserves its truest scrutiny not for Miranda and Frank, but for the two forms of authority that preside over them, mass incarceration and psychotherapy….[THE CAPTIVES] dissolves and reconstitutes its characters’ notions of what a prisoner owes a prison or a doctor owes a patient.—Charles Finch, New York Times Book Review

Debra Jo Immergut’s subtle precision — without stooping to cliches or the obvious — shows how Frank and Miranda are captives of their past, present and future. Immergut’s debut novel is a fascinating psychological look at two damaged people as well as being a solid thriller with unusual, and believable, twists. — Oline H. Cogdill, Washington Post, AP 

Just being honest: I do judge a book by its cover, and this one sent a chill down my spine. The story inside did not disappoint...Tortured, fascinating, and hard to look away from. Immergut used to teach writing in prisons, and her expertise on both subjects shows. Elizabeth Egan, Glamour.com

The story moves along briskly and skillfully straddles the line between literature and thriller. The best elements of both are woven throughout the book.—Michael Causey, Washington Independent Review of Books

With its see-saw of quixotic emotions, Immergut’s stunning debut is a taut psychological drama that explores [her characters’] nuanced contemplation of an unimaginable future and an unspeakable past.”    — Booklist

In this ingenious psychological thriller… Immergut burrows into the heads of her two main characters to dramatize their distinctive pathologies. She expertly crafts the other characters … who all play an important part in the story’s surprising denouement. Immergut’s book begins as an incisive psychological portrait of two mismatched individuals and morphs into a nail-biting thriller.”Publisher’s Weekly

“The characters are vividly brought to life, the tension almost unbearable—in a good way—and the theme of being imprisoned by obsession brilliantly realized. I was captivated by The Captives.” — James Rampton of The Independent 

“The book speeds toward an unexpected finale which questions the idea of right and wrong…the forward surge of the narrative never slows, pulling the reader along for the ride.” — Kirkus Reviews

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 mesmerizing debut. Janet Fitch, author of White Oleander and The Revolution of Marina M. 

Captives5  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, National Book Award winning-author of The Great Man and Blue Plate Special

The weight of deception on an otherwise honorable being, and the strain of fearful events and discoveries is Debra Jo Immergut’s subject… 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 and The Life of Objects

Pair an Ian McEwan with Rebecca du Maurier and you know some of the pleasures of Immergut. The book will lure you to read quickly, sure,  yet deeper metaphysical questions will linger. A smart, humanistic romantic, Immergut turns genre – a thriller set in a woman’s prison – inside out. The Captives’ characters are pure hunger.   Edie Meidav, Lannan Prize winning author of Kingdom of the Young and Lola, California

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