Convicted of murder and destined to spend the best years of her life in prison, Miranda Greene 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. 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 remember him?
As Miranda contemplates a dark future and a darker past, she soon realises that Frank might offer another way to the freedom she longs for. But at what cost?
Before I start my review, I’d like to say thank you to Titan Books for providing me with a copy of this book and inviting me to take part in the blog tour! I’m wrapping the tour up, so please check out everyone else who took part before me. They have really great blogs!
I really liked the fact that this book was set in a women’s prison, I thought this was very interesting. It was a refreshing take on a psychological thriller. I pretty much know nothing about prisons apart from the basic things you see on TV, so it was interesting reading about Miranda’s experience in prison. I liked seeing all the friendships she formed with the inmates and what they did while they waited out their sentencing, activities etc. It was interesting to see what she was thinking while she was serving time in there. She spends a lot of her time contemplating how to commit suicide and the different ways she could do it, anything to escape her grim future locked away. I was curious to see how she ended up in that situation in the first place because she didn’t seem like the type to murder someone in cold blood.
I’m not sure if this was what the author was going for but what I took away from the title after I’d finished this book, was that Miranda is a captive in prison and Frank is a captive to his own emotions/feelings for Miranda, if you can call them that. He is so obsessed with his feelings for Miranda, his emotions completely consume him. He was such a disturbing character and it was so odd how he acted completely normal to everyone he knew but inside he was a complete mess. He desperately thinks of ways he can save Miranda from her prison sentence and I’m shocked that he had managed to retain his career as a psychologist. He is so unprofessional and it was creepy how much he was obsessed with Miranda despite barely speaking to her in high school. In comparison, Miranda barley gave him a second thought and was just using him as a way to access drugs and then, as a way to escape.
I think this book is definitely character driven rather than plot driven. I found the plot really underwhelming and a lot of the time it felt like nothing was happening. Miranda and Frank completely drive the story but personally I didn’t find them particularly memorable. They just weren’t fleshed out enough for me and I was just expecting more from them. Plus some of Miranda’s chapters bothered me because they jumped from past to present with no warning. It really confused and disorientated me when I realised I was actually reading a scene that happened when she was a teenager. I would have preferred some notice like ‘Ten yeas ago’ so I’d know this was a scene from the past. I’m not sure what those chapters were contributing to the story because as I was reading them, I didn’t feel they were particularly relevant to what was happening with Miranda and Frank in the prison.
We also learn about Frank’s background and I found that much more interesting than Miranda’s. I found myself questioning whether the pressures of his childhood contributed to his strange obsession with Miranda and the way he clings onto something so tightly, refusing to let it go. I liked the scenes when he interacted with his father and it was interesting comparing the two of them.
I liked the ending but I wish it didn’t feel so rushed! I couldn’t believe Frank actually went through with his plan and it was great seeing it all play out. I liked how we actually found out how Miranda was convicted of murder after it being tantalisingly out of reach the whole way through the book. The Captives is definitely a slow burner with a shocking ending. I really wasn’t expecting that twist and it was so satisfying on so many levels. Miranda has been a captive to others her whole life but she finally takes control! I only wish the ending was more detailed and drawn out. Overall, whilst not my favourite psychological thriller, it was still very enjoyable and had some surprising twists here and there.