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A rural noir about a woman on a pulse-pounding expedition to deliver a fugitive—and forced to confront her own past on the journey In a secessionist rural state that has cut itself off completely from urban centers, where living is hardscrabble and poor but “free,” Brooke Holland runs a farm with her husband, Milo, and two daughters. Their life at the fringes of modern soci A rural noir about a woman on a pulse-pounding expedition to deliver a fugitive—and forced to confront her own past on the journey In a secessionist rural state that has cut itself off completely from urban centers, where living is hardscrabble and poor but “free,” Brooke Holland runs a farm with her husband, Milo, and two daughters. Their life at the fringes of modern society is tenuous—they make barely enough from each harvest to keep going—yet Brooke cherishes the loving, peaceful life they have carved out for themselves. She has even begun to believe she is free from the violent history she has kept a secret from her family. When escaped criminal Stephen Cawley attacks at the farm, Brooke’s buried talents surface, and she manages to quickly and harshly subdue him. She is convinced that he has come in retribution for the blood feud she thought she escaped years ago. Brooke sets out to bring Cawley to justice, planning to use the bounty on his head to hide her family far from danger. Fearing that other members of Cawley’s infamous family will soon descend, Brooke insists Milo and the girls flee with her, travelling miles on foot across an unforgiving landscape to reach the nearest marshal. Their journey, started at the onset of winter with little preparation, brings already strained family dynamics to the breaking point. As Brooke’s ghosts—both real and imagined—close in, the ruthlessness that let her survive her past may become the biggest threat to her hopes for a different future. What follows is a harrowing exploration of family loyalty, trauma, and resilience. As haunting and propulsive as it is powerfully written, The Captive is a thrilling debut novel about the impossible choices we make to survive and protect the ones we love.


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A rural noir about a woman on a pulse-pounding expedition to deliver a fugitive—and forced to confront her own past on the journey In a secessionist rural state that has cut itself off completely from urban centers, where living is hardscrabble and poor but “free,” Brooke Holland runs a farm with her husband, Milo, and two daughters. Their life at the fringes of modern soci A rural noir about a woman on a pulse-pounding expedition to deliver a fugitive—and forced to confront her own past on the journey In a secessionist rural state that has cut itself off completely from urban centers, where living is hardscrabble and poor but “free,” Brooke Holland runs a farm with her husband, Milo, and two daughters. Their life at the fringes of modern society is tenuous—they make barely enough from each harvest to keep going—yet Brooke cherishes the loving, peaceful life they have carved out for themselves. She has even begun to believe she is free from the violent history she has kept a secret from her family. When escaped criminal Stephen Cawley attacks at the farm, Brooke’s buried talents surface, and she manages to quickly and harshly subdue him. She is convinced that he has come in retribution for the blood feud she thought she escaped years ago. Brooke sets out to bring Cawley to justice, planning to use the bounty on his head to hide her family far from danger. Fearing that other members of Cawley’s infamous family will soon descend, Brooke insists Milo and the girls flee with her, travelling miles on foot across an unforgiving landscape to reach the nearest marshal. Their journey, started at the onset of winter with little preparation, brings already strained family dynamics to the breaking point. As Brooke’s ghosts—both real and imagined—close in, the ruthlessness that let her survive her past may become the biggest threat to her hopes for a different future. What follows is a harrowing exploration of family loyalty, trauma, and resilience. As haunting and propulsive as it is powerfully written, The Captive is a thrilling debut novel about the impossible choices we make to survive and protect the ones we love.

30 review for The Captive

  1. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    4.5 stars (rounded up) If you're looking for a quicker read that will keep you on the edge of your seat the entire time, you have found it. A brilliant debut by Canadian author, Fiona King Foster, there is no extraneous fluff to be had. This book is a very no nonsense and taut thriller/dystopian story about a woman how has escaped a former life only to be dragged back in unwillingly. I read the summary of this book months ago, but by the time I opened the book to read it I no longer remembered wh 4.5 stars (rounded up) If you're looking for a quicker read that will keep you on the edge of your seat the entire time, you have found it. A brilliant debut by Canadian author, Fiona King Foster, there is no extraneous fluff to be had. This book is a very no nonsense and taut thriller/dystopian story about a woman how has escaped a former life only to be dragged back in unwillingly. I read the summary of this book months ago, but by the time I opened the book to read it I no longer remembered what it was about. I've made it a rule to avoid re-reading the book summary prior to starting the book and that has benefited me greatly. The way Ms. Foster slowly reveals this other world (even the place is non de-script although I would guess it is somewhere in North America) is expertly done. You go back and forth between Brooke's past and present day in both narratives, which I thought was so clever because the only person who knows the whole story is Brooke. Not you (the reader), or her family truly know what is happening and we must wait patiently (or impatiently) to find out how everything fits together and what this new world is like. I've said it before, but I'll say it again. There are a lot of many good books written for commercial consumption (you know the ones I'm talking about with the authors who pump out hit after hit after hit each year), but The Captive is the story that I seek out when I look at what books I want to read and review. This is a story that you probably haven't heard of and probably won't receive a lot of publicity or show up on any best lists, but it is very much worth your time. It is excellent and I strongly encourage you to read it. Thank you so much to Ecco Books, Ashlyn Edwards and Fiona King Foster for the opportunity to read this book and provide an honest review. Review Date: 01/11/2021 Publication Date: 01/12/2021

  2. 5 out of 5

    Susan's Reviews

    What a heart-thumping, fast-paced read!!! This epic story has minor dystopian elements: You feel like you are in the Wild West, with criminals and dope-fiends everywhere - who seem even worse than Zombies! A very human tale of the battle of rival criminal clans, misconceptions, self-perception, and just the over-riding instinct for survival. I was riveted! It took me a while to figure out that this story is set in the dystopian future, out in the lawless badlands of what used to be North America What a heart-thumping, fast-paced read!!! This epic story has minor dystopian elements: You feel like you are in the Wild West, with criminals and dope-fiends everywhere - who seem even worse than Zombies! A very human tale of the battle of rival criminal clans, misconceptions, self-perception, and just the over-riding instinct for survival. I was riveted! It took me a while to figure out that this story is set in the dystopian future, out in the lawless badlands of what used to be North America. Almost from the start, my eyes were glued to each page, desperate to discover Brooke's secrets. I literally got cranky when I would have to put my ereader down and actually do some work! This author writes so well, so vividly, that I was shocked to discover that this is her first published novel. As I read, her characters walked out of the pages like living, breathing people and enacted each scene in my mind's eye. I loved gentle, kindhearted Milo. His character was designed to be deliberately endearing to the reader, amidst so many ruthless, murderous villains. Thank goodness the descriptions of all the evil doings were kept to the bare minimum. There were some graphic descriptions of a few fight scenes, but I was rooting for Brooke every step of the way! When Milo and her daughters were appalled by Brooke's ability to subdue Stephen Crawley, I stood and cheered! What a total badass Brooke was! (And yet I am a staunch pacifist - so this shows you how good this author is, reeling me in despite my peace-loving beliefs.) Towards the end, I felt there was a bit of a "pregnant pause" (no spoilers here), but I also suspected that the author refused to be predictable and she added a few unexpected twists and turns to keep us readers alert right to the very end. And just when you thought the worst was over, eh?!!!! I don't want to give ANY spoilers away. Take a treacherous journey along with Brooke and her family through some lawless, snow covered back country and enjoy the ride, like I did. Highly recommended. A spectacular read: I thoroughly enjoyed it! My thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Celeste

    I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, Ecco, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The Captive is a compelling, intriguing thriller. The plot moves along quickly. Rustic noir isn’t a subgenre I’ve come across before, and that mixed with the slightly dystopian setting kept me interested. The writing was solid. Unfortunately, it left me dissatisfied. Our story takes place in near future in which a rural state has seceded from the Union and cut itself off from the rest o I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, Ecco, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The Captive is a compelling, intriguing thriller. The plot moves along quickly. Rustic noir isn’t a subgenre I’ve come across before, and that mixed with the slightly dystopian setting kept me interested. The writing was solid. Unfortunately, it left me dissatisfied. Our story takes place in near future in which a rural state has seceded from the Union and cut itself off from the rest of the US. Life here is very rural and agrarian, with a few small towns but no true urban areas. The people who live here have a hard life, but most consider the hardship worth the preported freedom they claim. This could be an idyllic culture if not for the drugs and the infighting said drugs bring with them. It’s essential a technologically deficient microcosm of the world in which we live. I’m a sucker for well crafted rural settings, and that is to me Foster’s greatest strength in this book. She imbued the story with a very strong sense of place, and that is a large part of why I kept reading even when annoyed by other elements of the book. I could feel the cold and the wet, and I could see how it balanced with the beautiful. I love the dichotomy between danger and beauty that so defines nature in my mind, and that was well presented here. The plot itself is an interesting one. Brooke, a wife and mother with a lot of skeletons in her closet, finds an enemy from her past hiding on her family’s farm. Terror and greed have her capturing said enemy and taking him to the outside world, where she can claim the bounty federal agents have placed on his head. The bounty is enough to give her and her family a fresh start somewhere new. The problem is, she’s hidden her past so well that her family doesn’t see why they could possibly need a fresh start. Brooke’s husband and children know nothing of her past, and can’t understand the person she has morphed into since discovering their trespasser. And now we come to my problem with the novel: Brooke. Honestly, I had issues with all of the characters, and found the characterization to be the least believable and most obnoxious element of the story. The entire plot could’ve been resolved in 20 pages had Brooke actually communicated with ANYONE. She guarded her secrets like priceless jewels and then, when that decision endangered everyone and everything she loved, she seemed blindsided by it. What did you expect, Brooke?! TALK TO YOUR HUSBAND, BROOKE. Seriously every single problem in this book could have been solved by open and honest conversation. It drove me insane. I think The Captive is going to be a popular book, especially for those who like their thrillers with unreliable narrators à la Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train. The dystopian rural noir setting is an unusual one, and it’s what drew me to the book in the first place and kept me reading. But if failures to communicate serving as the driving force behind a plot make you crazy, maybe skip this one. You can find this review and more at Novel Notions.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Eric

    In The Captive, the exact year and setting are left vague. Brooke and Milo—parents of two daughters—live on a small farm and harvest cranberries. Society has collapsed. And people are now mainly divided by rural or city living. With palpable tension between the two factions: those living in cities typically lean toward federal governing, while those outside the cities are governed by militias. Both factions also claim rule over events and citizens of their respective jurisdictions and take offens In The Captive, the exact year and setting are left vague. Brooke and Milo—parents of two daughters—live on a small farm and harvest cranberries. Society has collapsed. And people are now mainly divided by rural or city living. With palpable tension between the two factions: those living in cities typically lean toward federal governing, while those outside the cities are governed by militias. Both factions also claim rule over events and citizens of their respective jurisdictions and take offense when the other faction attempts to intervene. Due to societal breakdown, past technologies still exist, their availability is sparse, especially depending on where one resides. Those in cities live a more modernized lifestyle, with those in rural settings have fallen back to past living-standards. While attending a public auction, Brooke learns from a federal marshal that a violent man from her past has surfaced in the area and is searching for her. Brooke also knows if this man is close by, other members of his family—some even more violent than he—certainly won’t be far behind. Brooke, with a secretive past of her own unknown to her family, realizes sudden measures must be taken to avoid not only danger to her, but also to the lives of her unsuspecting family. The Captive is a well written, descriptive, rural noir that falls along the lines of a “road” or “pursuit” novel, with Foster introducing interesting, three-dimensional characters. As the story then unfolds in current times, flashbacks fill in Brooke’s past. While the novel could be characterized as being a dystopian-type novel, Foster does not overemphasize societal breakdown in a way that might otherwise overshadow the characters and story. Those who have read novels such as The Outlander by Gil Adamson and The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis should enjoy The Captive. This review was originally published at MysteryandSuspense.com Netgalley provided an ARC of The Captive upon the promise of a fair review.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sandra

    I found THE CAPTIVE by Fiona King Foster breathtakingly tender and horrifying, impossible to put down. I compulsively finished this novel late last night and I'm still breathless. It's the reader who becomes the "captive"! What a world! What a story! It's an amazing thriller with a kick-ass woman/wife/mother at the center. Masterful. I found THE CAPTIVE by Fiona King Foster breathtakingly tender and horrifying, impossible to put down. I compulsively finished this novel late last night and I'm still breathless. It's the reader who becomes the "captive"! What a world! What a story! It's an amazing thriller with a kick-ass woman/wife/mother at the center. Masterful.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Brandy

    Overall an intriguing plot. You (as a person) can only do with what you have, but you could surprise yourself how much you can do with what little you may have! Few twists but you wind up with an endearing ending.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Marianne

    Different and mesmerizing This story is going to be hard to describe well. It is hard to determine when exactly, time wise, this takes place. It seems as though it would be set in the past yet there is cell service and internet. The living conditions are so simple and modest. The characters are well constructed and the story alternates between Brooke’s current journey and her upbringing (and what an upbringing it is - no spoilers). She is clever and resilient but doesn’t trust anyone other than Different and mesmerizing This story is going to be hard to describe well. It is hard to determine when exactly, time wise, this takes place. It seems as though it would be set in the past yet there is cell service and internet. The living conditions are so simple and modest. The characters are well constructed and the story alternates between Brooke’s current journey and her upbringing (and what an upbringing it is - no spoilers). She is clever and resilient but doesn’t trust anyone other than herself which leads to a few problems along the way. There were twists, some quite surprising. As I read, I kept thinking about the Hatfields and the McCoys. This story has those rural, brutal moments, full of revenge. It seems to end on a more contemplative note. This was excellent, fast paced and completely different from anything I have read. I would highly recommend. Thanks to NetGalley, the author and Ecco for a copy in exchange for a review.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Luanne Ollivier

    3.5 The Captive is Fiona King Foster's debut novel. Sometime in the near future, one state has decided to secede from the union. (An idea that has been bandied about by more than one state in the US.) Brooke Holland, her husband, Milo, and their their two daughters make their home on a farm in that seceded state. They've carved out a life that sustains them. "Poor but free." And for fifteen years, Brooke has steered clear of revealing her past to Milo - until the day Stephen Cawley shows up at the 3.5 The Captive is Fiona King Foster's debut novel. Sometime in the near future, one state has decided to secede from the union. (An idea that has been bandied about by more than one state in the US.) Brooke Holland, her husband, Milo, and their their two daughters make their home on a farm in that seceded state. They've carved out a life that sustains them. "Poor but free." And for fifteen years, Brooke has steered clear of revealing her past to Milo - until the day Stephen Cawley shows up at the farm. The Hollands and Cawleys have had a blood feud for generations. (I immediately thought Hatfields and McCoys.) There's a bounty on Cawley's head and Brooke sees it as a way to deliver him to the Federal Marshalls, collect the bounty and keep her family safe. That's the idea anyway, but the best laid plans..... I liked the idea of the rebel state, imagining what that would look like. King Foster's setting is a throwback to rural history and suits the story being told. The juxtaposition of old and new, then and now, rural vs city, provides a great backdrop for a inevitable reckoning. In more than one way for Brooke. Her past is slowly revealed in memories and gives the listener a better idea of who and why she has chosen to disappear down a remote country road. While there are plenty of action and tense situations, The Captive is a character driven novel, with Brooke at the helm. Mothers, daughters, families, love, loyalty loss and more all figure into King Foster's novel. I'm not sure how I felt about Brooke. I applauded her loyalty to her husband and daughters, but the time for revealing the why of what they're doing came and left more than once. A lot of what happened could have been resolved by speaking the truth. And it made me a little frustrated with her. But, on the flip side, she believes she is protecting them. Milo, in fact, ended up being favorite character. Without providing a spoiler, I did find one of the plot devices used in the final chapters out of sync with the tone of the journey there. But all in all, The Captive was an enjoyable listen and a great introduction for a new writer. I chose to listen to The Captive. The reader was Courtney Patterson. She has a lovely voice, pleasant to listen to and clear and easy to understand. She provided many easily identifiable voices for the characters. (Teenager Holly's was perfect!) She has lots of movement in her reading, matching the action of the plot and the emotion of the characters. I had expected Brooke's voice would be a bit 'rougher' given her past. But she grew into the character I had imagined. I do enjoy listening to books as I find I become more immersed in the story. And that was true with The Captive

  9. 4 out of 5

    Addie BookCrazyBlogger

    Brooke and Milo, along with their daughters Holly and Sal, live in a secessionist rural territory, cut off from urban areas and the federal government. While it’s hard work and survival is the name of the game, they are at least free to live a peaceful and loving life with their family. When a hardened criminal named Stephen Cawley comes to the town, Brooke realizes that her violent past and peaceful present must interact with one another. When Brooke decides to walk Cawley to the closet urban c Brooke and Milo, along with their daughters Holly and Sal, live in a secessionist rural territory, cut off from urban areas and the federal government. While it’s hard work and survival is the name of the game, they are at least free to live a peaceful and loving life with their family. When a hardened criminal named Stephen Cawley comes to the town, Brooke realizes that her violent past and peaceful present must interact with one another. When Brooke decides to walk Cawley to the closet urban center through the mountains, along with her family, she must become the person she thought she had left behind and do whatever it takes to survive. If you’ve ever heard of the Hatfields and McCoy’s down in Kentucky, then this book will really spark your interest. Personally, I love stories about opposite gang members and the damage they cause, not only to themselves but others around them. This was an addictive thriller that has a great juxtaposition between a woman who did what she could to get out of that lifestyle, suddenly being thrown back in, along with her family that she’s still trying to shield. I thought this book was absolutely brilliant but it is incredibly violent.

  10. 5 out of 5

    M. [storme reads a lot]

    This was a quick read, but it was also not as well done as I had hoped. It seemed like the twists were easy to see and nothing was a shock. I did like the writing, but the story did not make me interested. I think this could have been better. I did like how dark it could be at times though.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Morgan-- JUSTONEMOREPAGE_

    3.5 The Captive by Fiona King Foster, is a debut novel that had me sucked in from page one. Everything about this read just fascinated me, and it was unlike anything I've read before. At times, I felt like I was in the novel, that's how well it reads. . Brooke and her husband Milo don't have much money, they live in an isolated area, and money is very scarce. One day, they're attending an auction where they hear an announcement that an outlaw, Stephen Cawley is wanted for federal crimes. After hear 3.5 The Captive by Fiona King Foster, is a debut novel that had me sucked in from page one. Everything about this read just fascinated me, and it was unlike anything I've read before. At times, I felt like I was in the novel, that's how well it reads. . Brooke and her husband Milo don't have much money, they live in an isolated area, and money is very scarce. One day, they're attending an auction where they hear an announcement that an outlaw, Stephen Cawley is wanted for federal crimes. After hearing this announcement, Brooke becomes slightly more distant and acts irrationally, or so we think.. A few days later, lo and behold Brooke finds Cawley hiding in her shed. Brooke manages to subdue him, and she convinces her family to walk the 100 miles to deliver him to the feds so they can collect the reward. Brooke becomes more distant with her family, and won't let anyone near Cawley. During this long travel, we learn that Brooke and Cawley actually know eachother, and their backstory is super fascinating. Brooke didn't have it easy as a child and neither did Cawley, they were children in a war between families, that they knew nothing about. . This book was such a quick read, and like I said, it had me hooked from page one. I loved hearing about Brookes childhood, the secrets that she has kept ever since, and just how tough she is. However, she was also not the brightest character, she was super irrational and did things that weren't the smartest. Although at times this book was super predictable, it still had enough twists and turns to keep me guessing. For a debut novel I think this was an excellent read.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Linda McCutcheon

    Captive by Fiona King Foster is the author's debut novel. She has created an intense suspenseful story that kept me reading all night. Brooke lives in a rural community that has seceded from the government. The citizens here live a life that is void of most modern comforts and technology. They prefer a quiet farming life. However, there is still crime. Brooke has escaped from her crime family and settled on a farm with husband Milo and their kids. She has almost forgotten her former life until an Captive by Fiona King Foster is the author's debut novel. She has created an intense suspenseful story that kept me reading all night. Brooke lives in a rural community that has seceded from the government. The citizens here live a life that is void of most modern comforts and technology. They prefer a quiet farming life. However, there is still crime. Brooke has escaped from her crime family and settled on a farm with husband Milo and their kids. She has almost forgotten her former life until an escaped prisoner shows up and threatens her family. Brooke turns the tables on him and once she has subdued him makes the decision that her, Milo and the kids will travel by foot, in the winter, with no money, to turn him in and collect the reward money. Their trek through the cold not so isolated woods is a harrowing journey that will have grave consequences. This is a quick read partly because the need to see the ending is so strong. There were some frustrating and unbelievable moments for me. First Brooke's husband knows nothing of her crime family or her relationship with the prisoner. Her stubborn selfishness to keep her secret endangered all their lives. Second why would you risk the lives of your children not to mention the trauma they will have to live with forever. Lastly, Brooke performs intense surgery to remove a bullet on a very awake patient. She has no medical degree! All these decisions infuriated me. I wanted better decisions from the protagonist or a hint of she is changing her ways from this experience. I have to give the author props though. If she had not written such an intriguing premise I would not have cared so much. I think crime thriller fans will love this non stop adventure. I received a free copy of this book from the publishers via NetGalley for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Eva

    The Captive by Fiona King Foster falls under the genre of rural noir. This is a sub-genre that I am not sure I have read before. It takes place during an unspecified time in history but cell phones are present so we know we are dealing with recent time. There is a slightly dystopian quality to the novel which focuses on a family living in a rural community that has seceded from the federal state. The living conditions are somewhat harsh but the family is free. At an auction in the county an anno The Captive by Fiona King Foster falls under the genre of rural noir. This is a sub-genre that I am not sure I have read before. It takes place during an unspecified time in history but cell phones are present so we know we are dealing with recent time. There is a slightly dystopian quality to the novel which focuses on a family living in a rural community that has seceded from the federal state. The living conditions are somewhat harsh but the family is free. At an auction in the county an announcement is made about an outlaw, named Stephen Cawley, being wanted for federal crimes. That same fugitive attacks the cranberry farm where Brooke, her husband Milo, and two daughters live. Brooke manages to skillfully subdue Cawley and the family sets out together on foot to travel the 100 miles to the federal outpost to deliver Cawley in exchange for a bounty that would see the family survive a year. The author paints the bleak winter conditions and the fatigued travellers strikingly. I could feel the chill as they crossed a cold bog in their bare feet. During the long travels, the story is interspersed with Brooke’s family history. I found this part of the story particularly satisfying and didn’t want to put the book down. Family feuds from within and between families, Brooke had an upbringing you wouldn’t expect of a farmer and family-driven person. With a few twists to surprise the reader and a fiery ending, I enjoyed this book. Thank you to @harpercollinsca for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. the Captive, by Canadian author Fiona King Foster publishes January 12, 2021.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    I really enjoyed this one and I dont usually find myself drawn to suspense or thriller storylines but this one grabbed me and didn't let go! Taking place in the near future, Brooke and her family live on a farm cut off from everything. Its a quiet life and she appreciates the peacefulness it offers her considering her violent history, something her family knows nothing about. But when an escaped criminal strikes the farm her dark history bubbles to the surface. Brooke captures the criminal and wa I really enjoyed this one and I dont usually find myself drawn to suspense or thriller storylines but this one grabbed me and didn't let go! Taking place in the near future, Brooke and her family live on a farm cut off from everything. Its a quiet life and she appreciates the peacefulness it offers her considering her violent history, something her family knows nothing about. But when an escaped criminal strikes the farm her dark history bubbles to the surface. Brooke captures the criminal and wants to use him as an opportunity for her and her family to have a fresh start. But in order to do that they must journey in the rural terrain in winter and things become intense and dangerous, and her past haunts and threatens her and her families future. I loved how much was going on in this story and the way Foster slowly revealed it all, it kept pulling me in deeper. The slightly dystopian setting was perfect too. Brook's character was intriguing, how she held back so much about her past back made for such strained relationships, especially with her husband. If you enjoy thrillers you should check this one out! Thank you to the tagged publisher for sending me this arc. • For more of my book content check out instagram.com/bookalong

  15. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    It's a western. It's a domestic thriller. It's a survivalist anti-government conspiracy. It's a whole lot of ideas thrown together to make a great stew of a book. Brooke's family is part of a rural state that secedes from the country. Never does the book name the USA. Their reasonings felt incredibly similar to the State of Jefferson trying to leave California. As Brooke is deeply embedded in her new life, she doesn't want to let her husband know about the family life she left behind, but it won It's a western. It's a domestic thriller. It's a survivalist anti-government conspiracy. It's a whole lot of ideas thrown together to make a great stew of a book. Brooke's family is part of a rural state that secedes from the country. Never does the book name the USA. Their reasonings felt incredibly similar to the State of Jefferson trying to leave California. As Brooke is deeply embedded in her new life, she doesn't want to let her husband know about the family life she left behind, but it won't leave her behind which results in a crazy wilderness adventure with them fighting for their lives while she continues to try and keep her family separated from her dramatic past. While I think I'd have dealt with that last part a bit differently than Brooke, it did make for some interesting tension in the story. Thanks to NetGalley and Ecco for a copy of the book. This review is my own opinion.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Roxanne

    I am not sure what I expected but I feel like sometimes covers pull me in and I will read something without knowing a thing about the book. I enjoyed this. The writing was good it just wasn't a 100% something I loved. I am not sure what I expected but I feel like sometimes covers pull me in and I will read something without knowing a thing about the book. I enjoyed this. The writing was good it just wasn't a 100% something I loved.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Gail Bartels

    It was slow reading. I found it a bit hard to follow and sometimes wordy.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kim McGee

    In a cabin far away from civilization lives a woman, her husband and their two girls. Brooke has always kept her past a complete secret but when a fugitive winds up in their shed with a price on his head, she has no choice but to gather up her family and walk their captive to the sheriff miles away. This is a surreal environment that feels like the wild west because Brooke and her family live in an area that has seceded from the U.S. leaving them without any modern convenience or real police. The In a cabin far away from civilization lives a woman, her husband and their two girls. Brooke has always kept her past a complete secret but when a fugitive winds up in their shed with a price on his head, she has no choice but to gather up her family and walk their captive to the sheriff miles away. This is a surreal environment that feels like the wild west because Brooke and her family live in an area that has seceded from the U.S. leaving them without any modern convenience or real police. The weather conditions, mistrust and being on foot with a dangerous man who has the power to take away everything important in her life makes her hardened and fiercely protective of her family. You don't necessarily like her or understand her motives until her upbringing is explained. This is the "Hatfields vs. McCoys" scenario but in a primitive remote setting filled with danger at every turn. Readers who enjoy books with a light apocalyptic touch with strong characters who may have a checkered past will enjoy this. My thanks to the publisher for the advance copy.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    Despite being a shorter suspense book, I have a lot of feelings about this story. It was definitely compelling and catching - I didn't want to stop reading. It takes place in a dystopian future America where a new drug causes a Hatfields and McCoy's type feud between two families intent on controlling the Chalk drug trade. And I liked that it didn't explain a lot about how the world got to where it is. It's more of a distant plot detail that makes the world feel more arid and primitve. But this is Despite being a shorter suspense book, I have a lot of feelings about this story. It was definitely compelling and catching - I didn't want to stop reading. It takes place in a dystopian future America where a new drug causes a Hatfields and McCoy's type feud between two families intent on controlling the Chalk drug trade. And I liked that it didn't explain a lot about how the world got to where it is. It's more of a distant plot detail that makes the world feel more arid and primitve. But this is just the subplot. It follows Brooke, the middle daughter of one of the families who has escaped from that life and has started a family in the middle of nowhere on a cranberry farm. But when one of the men from the rival family finds her, Brooke takes him captive and forces her family to drag him across the freezing, snowy landscape to save herself and her family from her violent past returning to get her.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Nathan D

    2021 can’t come fast enough

  21. 5 out of 5

    Joan Roll

    This dystopian novel is set in a world where there is a rural area of land that has seceded from the federal government. The people are in this area are cut off from the urban areas and are living on the fringes of modern society. Brooke and Milo live on a farm there with their two young daughters where they grow and harvest cranberries. Brooke has a secret past that she has never shared with her husband Milo or her children. The family is struggling to make ends meet. When Brooke hears that the This dystopian novel is set in a world where there is a rural area of land that has seceded from the federal government. The people are in this area are cut off from the urban areas and are living on the fringes of modern society. Brooke and Milo live on a farm there with their two young daughters where they grow and harvest cranberries. Brooke has a secret past that she has never shared with her husband Milo or her children. The family is struggling to make ends meet. When Brooke hears that there is a large reward for a fugitive named Stephen Cawley, she is both frightened for the family’s safety and encouraged that she might be able to collect the reward to shore up their finances. Cawley, however, brings danger to her and her family because of his part in her past life. When Cawley appears at the farm, she subdues him and quickly gathers her family and their supplies to make the dangerous journey to take the captive to the federal marshal. Unfortunately, she has sold their only horse and they must travel on foot to their destination many miles away at the onset of the winter season. The dangerous journey is filled with several unanticipated and life-threatening events that force the family members to question their resilience and love for one another. This debut book has a fast paced plot and is packed with numerous nail-biting moments. The narrative alternates going between Brooke’s present life and her early childhood and teenage years. As the details of Brooke’s past are slowly revealed, the reasons for the secrecy about her past soon become evident. The plot explores themes of family, loyalty, survival, and loss. The book promotes the author’s idea of how people might live in a world that has been separated from the popular society and beliefs. The descriptive writing enhances the plot as it provides a vivid picture of the rural setting where the majority of the action occurs. The beginning chapters left me with many questions about the exact circumstances and time period for the events in the book. Some details that could help explain the how and why of these people and their lives are eventually released throughout the story. Without a time frame for gauging events, even futuristic ones, I did feel somewhat bereft even at the conclusion of the book. If you disregard this element, the novel offers the reader both a thrilling and captivating tale of a family’s struggle for safety and survival. This review is written following a reading of the egalley courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley.

  22. 5 out of 5

    April Perdomo

    Let me relax my jaw and unclench my hands as this read made me tense throughout as all good thrillers do. The premise of this one is so interesting and it was one the reasons I could not resist reading it. I needed to resist reading it because my TBR is honestly embarrassingly long, but it just sounded so interesting and it definitely was! Now I have to say that I came away with rather mixed feelings about this one, although my overall impression is positive. I never summarize books so if you are Let me relax my jaw and unclench my hands as this read made me tense throughout as all good thrillers do. The premise of this one is so interesting and it was one the reasons I could not resist reading it. I needed to resist reading it because my TBR is honestly embarrassingly long, but it just sounded so interesting and it definitely was! Now I have to say that I came away with rather mixed feelings about this one, although my overall impression is positive. I never summarize books so if you are looking for a summary, I am going to fail you. I will say this is set in a dystopian society where there are "states" that have succeeded and now live by their own laws. In all honesty, spending all of this time with racist, white, violent folks is not exactly fun reading. While none of this is glorified in any way, it was emotionally exhausting. I feel that it is important to give this trigger warning. In addition to this exhausting setting, our main protagonist makes decision after decision that left me as a reader absolutely frustrated. While the book slowly delves into the background of our main character in a way that makes her frustrating decisions easier to understand as the we delve further into the book, it still dissatisfied me as a reader. Probably one of the most frustrating plot points involves children who are lost in the woods at one point in this tale. The adults in the novel were just a little too lax about it. It was UNFATHOMABLE to me that characters would have these long-ass conversations or even sleep while children were missing!! How were they not restless and uprooting every single tree to find these kids?!?!?!? Can you tell I hated this?!?!??! Do the exclamation points not prove this?!?!?! All that aside, in terms of thrills and actually being a really, really interesting story, this one lives up to it. I had, have, a rollercoaster of emotions about it, but by the time I turned the last page I really found that I liked the tale overall. I think readers looking for a dark, gritty thriller will not be unhappy with this one. Just know there might be a few frustrations along the way.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Renee

    From the first page, The Captive provided me with more questions than answers and it definitely had my full attention. Brooke Holland lives in a place that has no ties to the outside world. Along with her husband and children, they live on a farm, barely making enough to survive. The life they have chosen may be hard, but they welcome the isolation and freedom. When Brooke goes to the nearest town to get supplies, she is suddenly and unexpectedly confronted with a face from her past. A past that From the first page, The Captive provided me with more questions than answers and it definitely had my full attention. Brooke Holland lives in a place that has no ties to the outside world. Along with her husband and children, they live on a farm, barely making enough to survive. The life they have chosen may be hard, but they welcome the isolation and freedom. When Brooke goes to the nearest town to get supplies, she is suddenly and unexpectedly confronted with a face from her past. A past that she has tried to forget, and one that her family doesn’t know exists. Stephen Cawley is a wanted criminal and someone Brooke fears. When he shows up on her farm, Brooke knows she has only one choice. It is either him or her family, so she decides to capture him, hand him over to the law, and collect the large reward that is offered, if he is turned in alive. But the marshal isn’t just down the road, and Brooke and her family will have to survive the elements, the threat of Cawley’s family, and each other if they hope to make it back to their farm. Even with these impending threats, Brooke is reluctant to share her past with her family, and they barely recognize the woman she has become. The setting was vivid and I loved feeling like I was making this journey too. However, I never totally connected with Brooke. She had a whole lot of skeletons in her closet, and I get wanting to lock that particular door. But once her past invaded her present, she still wouldn’t disclose vital information that would have helped her family understand just what the heck was going on. Most of her decisions seemed to cause more harm than good, and I just couldn’t understand why. Other than the fact that I kept rolling my eyes at Brooke, this was a quick read that immediately threw me into a familiar, yet unknown world. Learning about Brooke’s backstory helped me to relate more with her character, and I was left intrigued by the story, while not so captivated with the characters.3.5 stars.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    4.5 stars. The Captive by Fiona King Foster is a fast-paced dystopian novel that is quite suspenseful. When Brooke recognizes the man in a wanted poster during a rare trip to town, she is certain her past has caught up with her. Hoping she will escape Stephen Cawley's attention, she leaves her husband Milo behind while she travels back to their farm to ensure their daughters are safe. When Stephen finds her, she, Milo, thirteen year old Holly and eight year old Sal make the arduous trek to turn hi 4.5 stars. The Captive by Fiona King Foster is a fast-paced dystopian novel that is quite suspenseful. When Brooke recognizes the man in a wanted poster during a rare trip to town, she is certain her past has caught up with her. Hoping she will escape Stephen Cawley's attention, she leaves her husband Milo behind while she travels back to their farm to ensure their daughters are safe. When Stephen finds her, she, Milo, thirteen year old Holly and eight year old Sal make the arduous trek to turn him in for the reward money. Battling the elements and her memories, Brooke keeps her worries to herself on their journey. How will Milo react when he learns the truth about her past? Brooke's family eventually fell on hard times after they were major players in the secession from the government. She tries to protect her younger brother from their father's wrath and she eventually manages to escape.  With plans to move farther away, Brooke instead falls in love with Milo and convinces him to move from town. Never truly expecting her past to catch up with her, she reacts without thinking when Stephen shows up on their farm. Still hoping to keep her past a secret, Brooke does not tell Milo or their daughters anything as they urgently set out on their trip. She knows the reward money will keep them going but she also wants to ensure Stephen cannot do any harm to her or her family. Their journey is fraught with tension as they try to skirt other settlements in order to avoid trouble.  In addition, Stephen is not exactly cooperative since he has no intention of being turned over to the federal authorities. With the weather conditions worsening, will Brooke and her family survive their increasingly dangerous journey? The Captive is an atmospheric novel with a clever plot and well-drawn characters. The  truth about Brooke's past gradually emerges through a series of intriguing flashbacks.  With a sense of danger permeating the family's grueling journey, Fiona King Foster brings this outstanding debut to an edge of the seat conclusion.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Cindy Roesel

    When I first started reading Fiona King Foster’s, debut novel, THE CAPTIVE (Ecco/HarperCollins), I felt as if I’d entered another world. I couldn’t fully understand whether it was a western or an anti-government survivalist book or perhaps a domestic terrorist thriller. I also wondered about the time line, because people were riding horses in town, yet they used cell-phones. I decided to put that all aside and just read, and I’m so glad I did. THE CAPTIVE grabbed me and didn’t let go until the v When I first started reading Fiona King Foster’s, debut novel, THE CAPTIVE (Ecco/HarperCollins), I felt as if I’d entered another world. I couldn’t fully understand whether it was a western or an anti-government survivalist book or perhaps a domestic terrorist thriller. I also wondered about the time line, because people were riding horses in town, yet they used cell-phones. I decided to put that all aside and just read, and I’m so glad I did. THE CAPTIVE grabbed me and didn’t let go until the very end. Brooke Holland left her violent life fifteen years ago. She starts fresh when she meets a man named Milo King and has two daughters, Holly 13 and Sal 8. They live in a secessionist rural town cut off from urban cities, and life is very difficult on the cranberry farm. They barely make enough to make ends meet. All is well until a wanted fugitive shows up in their shed and Brooke takes him down. At first, her family doesn’t know Brooke recognizes the captive. Brooke talks Milo and their family into taking the captive to the marshal, over a hundred treacherous miles away in the winter. The story of who Brooke really is begins to reveal itself, while the family finds themselves in more danger, wrapped up in Brooke’s lies. The environment during their travel, on foot in the cold and snow is a character unto itself, which presents a melancholy picture. There’s always this looming danger which makes the story dark. Lies and truth shift and blur over the miles, while Miles, Holly and Sal begin to fear who Brooke really is. THE CAPTIVE is about family, protecting the ones you love and facing the truth. THE CAPTIVE will have you on the edge of your seat for the entire novel. Take a breath first.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jackie Sunday

    This story takes place somewhere in the future where a group of families fought to sever their ties from the federal government to establish themselves in a rural area for their independence. It's like a Western with horses and guns with a glimpse of technology with computers and phones at distant places. The book begins at an auction miles from their home where the husband, Milo, and wife, Brooke, are trying to sell their dry goods to survive. The marshal then announces that there's a fugitive This story takes place somewhere in the future where a group of families fought to sever their ties from the federal government to establish themselves in a rural area for their independence. It's like a Western with horses and guns with a glimpse of technology with computers and phones at distant places. The book begins at an auction miles from their home where the husband, Milo, and wife, Brooke, are trying to sell their dry goods to survive. The marshal then announces that there's a fugitive in the area which sets Brooke in motion as she suddenly realizes she must return to their farm a few hours away to make sure her daughters, Holly, 13 years old, and Sal, 8 years old, are okay. Her husband stays at the auction. She sells her horse and takes off on foot only to find the fugitive, Stephen Cawley, in her shed. This is someone she knows from her secretive, violent past.. When her husband gets home with a heavy load on his back, he sees that his wife has captured Cawley. Brooke then insists that the family must get their backpacks ready to take this fugitive across the way in the bitter cold to another county to get the $5,000 reward they desperately need. But as anyone could guess, this is not an easy task. What an imagination the author had to write this book. It's one the reader could like - or not. It was easy enough to read but for me, it was a little out there especially when the two daughters, hungry and cold, had been missing in the snow and their parents were sleeping rather than searching for them. What kind of parent does this? My thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for allowing me to read this advance copy.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Erin L

    THE CAPTIVE is about Brooke Holland is a young woman with a family: two girls and her husband, who all run a cranberry farm in a rural town. One morning at an auction, a federal officer comes to share news that a fugitive has gotten lose and there’s a bounty for anyone who sees him or brings him in. When Brooke sees the man’s photo, she instantly panics. She knows this man. She knows this man because she ran away from him and the life she knew growing up with her family. I got this book as an e- THE CAPTIVE is about Brooke Holland is a young woman with a family: two girls and her husband, who all run a cranberry farm in a rural town. One morning at an auction, a federal officer comes to share news that a fugitive has gotten lose and there’s a bounty for anyone who sees him or brings him in. When Brooke sees the man’s photo, she instantly panics. She knows this man. She knows this man because she ran away from him and the life she knew growing up with her family. I got this book as an e-reader from NetGalley; it’s an uncorrected proof. This book will keep you on the edge of your seat. It goes back and forth between past and present time, when Brooke was growing up with her family and how she’s going to keep your family safe from the fugitive. The middle of the book was the strongest. Brooke uses her survival skills she learned as a kid to navigate the forest, track animals and people, use guns to defend herself, and listen to her basic instincts. The secession narrative was very jarring and a really interesting take on the world. It definitely reflected a lot of the political mood that we’re in today. Foster’s writing is really good but at times it wasn’t clear and some pieces of information felt scattered through out. At times there were pieces of information I don’t ever remember reading about in the pages prior or names and places I didn’t recall previously. Overall, I think it’s a really good thriller and would make for a good tv series or movie.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Shirley McAllister

    The Journey Brooke has held a secret from Milo for the last 15 years. At an auction in town a federal marshal speaks to the crowd about a criminal on the run. When Brooke sees the flyer an hears the name she knows she has to do something. Back at home she hears noise in the shed. It is the criminal Stephen Crawley. She locks him in the shed. He breaks through the walls with a shovel. She manages to capture him. She tells Milo that they need to take him to the federal Marshals and collect the rewar The Journey Brooke has held a secret from Milo for the last 15 years. At an auction in town a federal marshal speaks to the crowd about a criminal on the run. When Brooke sees the flyer an hears the name she knows she has to do something. Back at home she hears noise in the shed. It is the criminal Stephen Crawley. She locks him in the shed. He breaks through the walls with a shovel. She manages to capture him. She tells Milo that they need to take him to the federal Marshals and collect the reward. Brooke, Milo, and their two girls Sal and Holly set off for the marshals station with the captive in tow. The journey will not be a smooth one. They will travel though forest in the winter. Many things will happen on their way to the marshals station. Brooke's secret will be out and she is not sure that Milo or the girls will ever look at her the same anymore. The events explode near the ending, and the story takes a strange and violent turn. You will want to read to the end, If you like action packed stories you will love this book. I would recommend it. Thanks to Fiona King Foster, Ecco Publishing, and NetGalley for allowing me to read an advance copy in return for an honest review.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Amie

    3.5 rounded up. Thank you to Netgalley, Fiona, and Ecco for an ARC of The Captive. The Captive is an isolating and cold book. It bent genres for me, best described as a dystopian noir with a western feel. Brooke is our main character, she lives in a seceded state running a cranberry farm with her family. One day she sees a man on their farm and immediately recognizes him as escaped inmate Stephen Cawley. Jumping into action under the belief that Stephen has come to her farm to settle an old famil 3.5 rounded up. Thank you to Netgalley, Fiona, and Ecco for an ARC of The Captive. The Captive is an isolating and cold book. It bent genres for me, best described as a dystopian noir with a western feel. Brooke is our main character, she lives in a seceded state running a cranberry farm with her family. One day she sees a man on their farm and immediately recognizes him as escaped inmate Stephen Cawley. Jumping into action under the belief that Stephen has come to her farm to settle an old family feud, Brooke's survivalist past comes rushing back and their present becomes a game of cat and mouse, miles from civilization, in the snow with no technology, and a family who is rapidly discovering that their wife and mother is not who they thought she was. Plot-wise, there were some times that seemed to dragged a little bit, but I think it adds to the atmosphere of the book. A lot of ground is covered and many characters are involved, but the author still managed to make me feel alone and in danger. The end wrapped up nicely. It feels much more about the thrill of the history of Brooke and back and forth of the chase and less about any twists and turns throughout the book, which some readers may have issues with, but I found it refreshing to have a story focus on telling a good story versus making sure there were plenty of good twists. The characters were developed well, we get a very good sense of who Brooke is, she's easy to empathize with, even if you cannot relate to her story. All of the side characters were also sufficiently enough to be invested in them.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    Thank you to NetGalley and Fiona King Foster for the advanced copy in return for my honest review. The Captive is available for purchase on January 12, 2021 - be sure to grab yourself a copy. Brooke is a mother of two, trying her hardest to make her ends meet. She is with her husband Milo at an auction, trying to stock up on food, when there is notice of a warrant out for Stephen Cawley. Brooke instantly recognizes the name and races back to her farm, hoping to find her girls safe. Milo doesn’t k Thank you to NetGalley and Fiona King Foster for the advanced copy in return for my honest review. The Captive is available for purchase on January 12, 2021 - be sure to grab yourself a copy. Brooke is a mother of two, trying her hardest to make her ends meet. She is with her husband Milo at an auction, trying to stock up on food, when there is notice of a warrant out for Stephen Cawley. Brooke instantly recognizes the name and races back to her farm, hoping to find her girls safe. Milo doesn’t know, but Brooke has a secret past that includes a war between families. When she gets to her farm, her worst fear comes true, Cawley has found her. This book follows the story of Brooke trying to bring Cawley into the marshal in hopes of ending the feud all while keeping her family in the dark about who she really is. This book started off fast for me, then it slowed down, and picked back up towards the end. I actually love the way the book ended and wanted a little bit more. Towards the end I even felt bad for Cawley, which I was not expecting. This is a fun read, somewhat dystopian and I had a hard time figuring out if I should picture something modern or old school. This was a quick read with some fun twists and turns at the end. Be sure to add this one to your bookshelves!

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