#BlogTour The Captives – Debra Jo Immergut

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Convicted of murder, destined for life in prison, Miranda is desperate for an escape. She signs up for sessions with the prison psychologist, Frank Lundquist, so that she can access the drugs to end it all. But unknown to her, Frank remembers her from high school, where, forgettable and unseen, he had a crush on Miranda Greene. Now, captivated again, his feelings deepen to obsession. What led the daughter of a former Congressman to commit such a terrible crime? And how can he make her

A totally engrossing thrill ride!

Well that was a rush.  The Captives is an amazingly well written book, that grabs you by the scruff of the neck and pulls you along at break-neck speed as you find yourself consumed by the obsessions of and the relationship between Frank and Miranda.

Written in ideally sized chunks, and perfectly paced, you will be half way through the book before you even know it, every time you go to put it down, you’ll find yourself saying “just one more chapter”.  The chapters alternate between Frank’s first person narrative, and Miranda’s third, which I thought was a great way to help move the story along nicely.

Covering all the many ways a person can be held captive, by others and by themselves, and exploring the sacrifices we make, and the potential for good or bad in all of us, The Captives is a completely immersive debut.  I highly recommend it.

 

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Can Anybody Help Me? – Sinead Crowley

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image“It was crazy really, she had never met the woman, had no idea of her real name, but she thought of her as a friend. Or at least, the closest thing she had to a friend in Dublin”

Struggling with a new baby, Yvonne turns to NetMammy, an online forum for mothers, for support. Drawn into a world of new friends, she spends increasing amounts of time online and volunteers more and more information about herself.

When one of her new friends goes offline, Yvonne thinks something is wrong, but dismisses her fears. After all, does she really know this woman?

But when the body of a young woman with striking similarities to Yvonne’s missing friend is found, Yvonne realises that they’re all in terrible danger. Can she persuade Sergeant Claire Boyle, herself about to go on maternity leave, to take her fears seriously?

 

Can Anybody Help Me? is a nicely done psychological thriller, that highlights people’s misunderstandings of internet security, shows how easy it is to become ‘friends’ with total strangers, how desperate people can be for interaction with others and above all plays on our fears of what we can ever really know about who is behind a screen name?

NetMammy is a chatroom for new mums looking for help, but someone is out there looking for new mums… At first Yvonne believes it’s just a coincidence that her friend has disappeared from the forum.

The forum sections themselves are well written, and highly realistic of chat rooms around the world, where the false sense of security of being behind a screen, means that every day people offer up a little too much of themselves before realising too late that once it’s out there it’s out there for good.

Sargeant Claire Boyle is a genuine character, enjoyable to read, as she tries, and often fails to balance out her work and home life due to this difficult to crack case and her own pregnancy woes.

With young mothers being the killers victims it’s a disturbing and twisted read with a kicker of a sting in the tale when the villain is revealed, as there are enough false leads to keep you second guessing all the way through, then leaving you staring at the page in disbelief when you know ‘whodunnit’.

Dear Daughter – Elizabeth Little

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Janie owes everything to her mother.
Her looks. Her money.
Her murder conviction.

At 17 celebrity wild child Janie Jenkins was jailed for the murder of her mother. It was no secret she didn’t like her, but did she kill her?

Ten years later and Janie is out, her case overturned due to mishandling of evidence by the crime lab. Hiding from the media who believe she has escaped justice, Janie has travelled to a small town in the Black Hills, looking for the truth behind what happened that fateful night.

Following the tale of rich, pretty and overeducated celebrity Janie Jenkins in the days after her release from prison for the murder of her own mother, Dear Daughter grabs you firmly by the hand and doesn’t let go until you get to the end of this completely engrossing read. It’s a book chock full of contrasts, the socialite in the small town, the celebrity seeking anonymity, the sassy back chat against the quiet unassuming thought through response. It’s best displayed through protagonist Janie, a true wild child, constantly searching for the boundaries in the unlimited lifestyle of the privileged, who in order to find the truth, is forced to become the exact opposite of everything she has ever been.

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Dear Daughter also portrays brilliantly the dynamics of both large families and small communities. In the Black Hills town there are the age old feuds and fall outs amongst the families, the parental misunderstandings of the children, the sibling rivalries, together with the matriarchs that are seen to ‘hold these things together’, even if they don’t. There is some part of familial relationships in there that anyone reading this book will be able to relate to immediately. It shows a delightful amount of insight and only adds to the pleasure of reading this novel.

It’s an excellent debut you won’t want to put down once you have started and with Dear Daughter, Elizabeth Little has well and truly earned her place on my one to watch list.