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Debra Jo Immergut Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Captives (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Debra Jo Immergut is a renowned American writer of suspense, thriller, and mystery stories. She made her debut with the immensely successful novel called The Captives. Immergut had a worldwide release of her debut book, which is now available in more than 12 foreign countries. Besides her popular first novel, Immergut is also the author of a collection of short stories called Private Property that was released under the Random House banner in 1992. Author Immergut has held Michener and MacDowell fellowships. She has obtained her MFA from the IWW(Iowa Writer’s Workshop). Prior to entering the career field of writing, Immergut has worked as a journalist and magazine editor. She has taught the art of writing in prisons, libraries, and military bases. Immergut’s literary works have been published in many literary magazines such as Narrative, Foreign Literature, and American Short Fiction.

As a journalist, Immergut has written for the Boston Globe, Wall Street Journal, New York magazine, as well as several other publications. Currently, Immergut resides in western Massachusetts. She always keeps herself involved in her work. In her widely recognized debut novel, Immergut has described a dangerous set up in which a prison psychiatrist has a psychological exchange with a lady prisoner, whom he recognizes as his crush from high school. The renewed obsession of the psychiatrist coincides with the desperation of the prisoner for freedom. This sets into motion several risky events having the potential for deadly consequences.

The work of Immergut reflects the realm she has worked in for many years. Immergut has said in an interview that the idea for writing the story came to her mind while thinking of her own upbringing. She was the only girl growing up with two brothers and always tested womanhood’s advantages and limits. The authors that have inspired her to write include Albert Camus and Thomas Hardy. During her school and college days, she used to fall for these authors’ joyful fatalism repeatedly. Besides, Laura Ingalls Wilder was her first favorite author, whose style of writing is also reflected in her stories. As a reader, Immergut is most drawn to authors who describe a suspenseful and strong plot in their stories. Toni Morrison’s Beloved is among her most memorable reading experience.

Ian McEwan and LeCarre are the other writers whom Immergut really admires. Immediately after graduating with an MFA, Immergut came up with a short story collection. But, when it was sent for review, it freaked her out. She had another nightmare experience when her first novel was rejected by her initial publisher saying that it was too dark. At around the same time, Immergut gave birth to her first child. Consequently, she got busy in raising her kid and managing her full-time job. However, Immergut didn’t give up on writing fiction. Immergut even had to take a break from writing for a few years. But, she backed herself and got the necessary support from her near and dear ones. Her struggle made her realize that fulfilling one’s dream is a long journey and one should stick to it for as long as it takes if he/she really wishes to succeed. Banking on such an important lesson learned from her own life, Immergut gave another attempt at publishing her novel and finally tasted success after a long wait.

The debut book written by author Debra Jo Immergut is entitled ‘The Captives’. It was released in 2018 by the Ecco publication. Immergut has mentioned the central characters in this novel as Frank Lundquist and Miranda Greene. The setting is done in a correctional facility in Milford Basin, Manhattan. This book describes a riveting tale of a woman, who is convicted of deadly crime, and the psychiatrist in the correctional facility where the woman is imprisoned. When the psychiatrist recognizes the inmate from his school days, he begins to take a personal interest in her case. This sets off astonishing events that prove dangerous to both of them. The book opens by depicting that Frank Lundquist works as an inmate psychiatrist in a state prison. Working with the inmates have brought him many surprises over the years. But, the biggest surprise Frank receives is when Miranda Green arrives at his office for a psychological assessment.

Back in high school, Frank desired to gain the love of Miranda, but fate had other plans. The moment she enters his office, Frank recognizes her. He is still trying to come to terms with the scandal that forced him to give up his private practice in Manhattan and made him take up the current unglamorous job at the correctional facility. Frank thinks it is his ethical duty to help Miranda, but for that, he needs to find out how she ended up getting incarcerated for a brutal crime. In the earlier days, Miranda had the reputation of a beautiful sprinter with a promising career. One thing that has still not changed about Miranda is that she is still as beguiling as she used to be. What surprises Frank, even more, is that during the entire sessions, she doesn’t give any indication of knowing him. When inside her cell, Miranda looks despairing and desperate to get out. The memories of a tragedy from her childhood haunt her badly. She also tries to grapple with her family legacy of questionable political and moral choices.

The thing that has affected Miranda the most is her disastrous love affair that has brought about her downfall. No matter how bad her situation is, Miranda still tries to control her fate and hopes of getting out. As Frank begins to take an interest in her case, she becomes hopeful of her absolution and also her escape. However, she still doesn’t know that Frank is a past acquaintance. This novel is psychologically astute and propulsive. It appears to be a gripping and an intimate meditation on risk and freedom, powers of male & female, and hints towards redemption and corruption that are present in most of the human beings. It received a lot of appreciation and praise from the readers. The critics also gave excellent reviews to its characters, storyline, settings, and narration. Immergut also received praise from her fellow writers, who motivated her with their kind words and hoped that she continues to write many more interesting stories in the future.

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