The Captive - Deborah O'Connor

With the old prison system abolished, criminals take up residence in a cell, in their victim's home. Hannah is adamant she doesn't want Jem in her house, he killed her husband, didn't he? But when he reveals something he couldn't possibly know she starts to have doubts and takes the investigation into her own hands.

Big thanks to Zaffre Books for sending me an advanced copy of 'The Captive' published 7th January in exchange for a review!

I was initially confused by the premise of this novel, I didn't quite grasp why Hannah had a cell being built in her home but all became clear once the book got going a little. Keeping the criminal inside the home of a victim is an amazing concept, it not only provides a good plot but also a lot of talking points, what are your thoughts on this? Jem is placed into a cell in Hannah's kitchen as he's accused of killing her husband, John, a Met detective. Once I figured out the concept (this was my first read of the year after NYE, give me a chance) I was completely captivated by what would happen.

Initially, the characterisation wasn't 100% convincing and Hannah felt a bit two-dimensional, her actions and decisions didn't always come through as convincingly real. Once she started to get going with her investigation there were a lot of threads being pulled at once that confused me a bit, I will say that it all came together eventually but keeping track of it all was a bit difficult. Like I say, gradually it all started to come together and the twist ending was something I did not see coming, I had a lot of theories but O'Connor kept me guessing right up to the end. Flashbacks from Jem's perspective played a big part in throwing me off track and they were perfectly placed to keep me intrigued in the main storyline trying to piece together how it's all connected.

Overall, I really enjoyed this! It was twisty and turny which is exactly what I want from my mystery novels. I wouldn't necessarily call this a thriller until right up to the end at which point I was on the edge of my seat!

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