THE CAPTIVES will be released 6.5.18

Published by Ecco/HarperCollins



“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 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


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.

“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.

“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 

  • ISBN: 9780062747549
  • ISBN 10: 0062747541
  • Imprint: Ecco
  • On Sale: 06/05/2018
  • Pages: 288
  • List Price: 26.99 USD
  • BISAC1: FICTION / Literary
  • BISAC2: FICTION / Psychological
  • BISAC3: FICTION / Thrillers / Crime



A collection of short fiction. Turtle Bay Books/Random House, 1992

From the jacket:  In this powerful debut collection, Debra Jo Immergut conjures up an instantly recognizable world peopled by men and women who are bound by their own hidden longings, in thrall to secret – and often inappropriate – emotions. A young woman at war with her self-destructive impulses allows herself to be seduced by a devious acquaintance of her father in “River Road.” In “Frozen Niagara,” the desperate love of a sister for her older brother cannot circumvent his desire for freedom from his troubles.

“Debra Jo Immergut’s stories are distinctive for their ingenious plotting and arresting imagery, as well as their feeling and conviction. Private Property is a remarkable first collection.” — Madison Smartt Bell, author of All Soul’s Rising, winner of Dos Passos Award