Friday, 22 January 2010

Captured by Neil Cross

7th January 2010, Simon and Schuster
256 pages, Trade Paperback
Review Copy

Crime, thriller

Cushions: 4
Daggers: 5
Paperclips: 5
Tears: 2
Yunaleska's recommended rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Yunaleska's Content warning: Contains strong language, adult themes, graphic descriptions. Not for the faint hearted.

Summary from Simon and Schuster

Even though he is still young, Kenny has just weeks to live. Before he dies, he wants to find his childhood best friend Callie Barton and thank her for the kindness she showed him when they were at school together. But when Kenny begins his search, he discovers that Callie Barton has gone missing. Although cleared of any involvement, her husband Jonathan seems to be hiding something. Kenny has no choice but to take matters into his own hands. And knowing that time is running out on him, he's prepared to do whatever it takes . . .

I hear about murderers and kidnappers from the media. I sometimes hear about them in books. I've never been in the head of such nutters before. Captured allowed me to do this.

Kenny starts off as what I'd call a kind, normal person. It's quite sweet that he has a list of four people who he wants to say thank you too. Sometimes we don't thank people often enough. Having death stare him in the face is as good a kick start as any. The first three people he goes to see are ok. Then there is Callie.

First he has to find her. That proves difficult, but he gets help for that. He discovers she is missing. Now, most people would probably give up and cross Callie off at this stage. A missing person, especially one who has been missing for a long time doesn't usually come back. But Kenny liked her so much when they were younger that he's not going to give up on her. He wants to find her.

So he starts investigating Jonathan. Breaking and entering isn't a concern when you've got a few weeks to live. Kenny would be dead by the time it went to court. I think his imminent death spurred him to take risks and undertake what was, in my view, inhumane acts. I was horrified at what he did. How could he do those things to Jonathon, who by all means is not a nice person, who treated Callie badly (Kenny discovers this in his investigations), and who isn't who I'd call a nice person now.

I liked watching Kenny's character become (in my view) more obsessed with finding the truth about Callie. The steps he takes...they are horrific, but they suit his mentality at that point in time. And, sadly, the truth comes out by what he does. Callie's future becomes secured.

The other part of the story that I like was how the people who are connected to Kenny have their point of view examined in the story. I think this represents life: a person has an impact of everyone they meet. Captured allows the reader to experience that impact. (In a somewhat brutal, graphic way).

It is certainly a shocking book, with great insight into why people, who I would call sick and twisted, get into the state where they treat other people badly. I possibly won't reread it, but I guess I recommend it especially for writers to get a feel for the issues examined in the book, and for people who want to get into a murderer's head. I'm looking at criminals with a different view point now.

For the first time ever, I have a video! Neil Cross talks about Captured (taken from the Simon and Schuster website).

Similar books: Stones of Fire by C M Palov


GMR said...

Wow. As much as the atrocities described in the book give you another viewpoint to see this type of person it not sad to think that sometimes things like this (and worse) have happened in real life? An eye-opening review for what sounds to be an interesting book despite the mouth-dropping action. Thanks for sharing....and happy reading!

Yunaleska said...

It was sad - the atrocities that happen in the world are something I tend to think about a lot. I think this book is a reminder that the world is not always a pleasant place. And hopefully, just by being somewhere at the right time we can stop bad things from happening.

The half sad thing is that Kenny does save someone from something horrific at the beginning of the book. I just wish he didn't have to lose himself to help Callie.