I’m delighted to be reviewing The Captive today as part of the blog tour. Many thanks to Tracy Fenton for my review copy of the book and blog tour invite.
Hannah knows the cage intimately. Small, the size of a shopping centre parking space. A bed, a basin, a table and chair. A hatch and metal drawer through which to exchange food and other items.
Then there’s him. Always there on the edges of her vision, no matter how hard she tries to block him out.
Every day, the same thoughts run through Hannah’s mind:
What if he speaks to me?
What if he hurts me?
What if he gets out?
I’m still slightly in shock after reading this book as it’s such a wonderfully unique premise that has been executed perfectly by Deborah O’Connor to such an extent that if you told me that this was based on fact, I would have believed you! I’m hoping that this book is a runaway bestseller as it totally deserves to be on everyone’s reading list this year!
Hannah has a small cell in her kitchen which is about to be occupied for the next 20 years by Jem-the man who murdered her husband. In a near future, criminals are required to live with the victims affected by their crimes so that they can see how what they have done affects those they have harmed. And if that isn’t enough emotional stress for Hannah, Jem wants to convince her that he is innocent of the crime he has been found guilty of…
I loved this book so much! I was intrigued by how the relationship would work between captive and warder especially due to Hannah not feeling able to cope with her husband’s killer watching her every move. Her business is run from her kitchen-the very room he constantly occupies. The whole dynamic of the situation is so carefully layered with intricate details of how it works that I became fascinated by the whole ethos behind it. It’s such an original idea and the author has put a lot of thought into how everything would work for both parties, with the intimate setting growing into a very different story. When Hannah starts to be taken in by Jem, it’s so difficult to judge her as I think it would probably happen more than not if this system ever did come into practice!
The narrative itself swaps between Hannah and Jem with a few flashbacks into Jem’s past where a number of shocks await the reader-things aren’t always quite as they seem. So the storyline didn’t take the path that I was expecting, becoming a thrilling and suspenseful ride to a shockingly unexpected conclusion. There were certainly plenty of twists throughput that played out perfectly, delivering a stunning and highly addictive thriller to the very last page.
Deborah O’Connor has really surpassed my expectations here and I absolutely loved her last two books! The Captive is an emotional rollercoaster at times, beautifully written with a genuinely unique and powerful plotline that played with all of my emotions. Expect to see this one on my favourite books of the year list!
Deborah O’Connor is a writer and TV producer responsible for well-loved programmes such as ‘Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds’ and ‘A League of Their Own’. She lives in North Yorkshire with her husband and daughter. Deborah’s first novel was the bestseller My Husband’s Son, followed by The Dangerous Kind. The Captive is her third novel. You can follow her on Twitter @deboc77