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Captured by Neil Cross
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Captured (original 2010; edition 2010)

by Neil Cross

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517229,653 (3.74)3
Member:Suzannie1
Title:Captured
Authors:Neil Cross
Info:Simon & Schuster (2010), Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
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Captured by Neil Cross (2010)

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English (5)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  All languages (7)
Showing 5 of 5
CAPTURED begins with an arresting hook:

Kenny wrote the list because he was dying.
Earlier that morning, an MRI scan had revealed a malignant brain cancer had germinated in the moist secrecy of his skull like a mushroom in compost.
He had six weeks, maybe less.

Kenny has just 4 people on his list. One is his ex-wife and one is the girl he sat next to at the end of primary school.

The other two are easy to deal with. One is dead and so there is nothing he can do there. He locates the other and finds that he has grown up to have a fulfilling life. He remembers Kenny and thanks him for actions he took over twenty years before.

But the third, apart from his wife, Callie has disappeared, missing for ten years, and Kenny finds it easy to suspect her husband of murder.

A book I reviewed recently THE LAST POLICEMAN by Ben H. Winters uses a different scenario to pose the question of what you, dear reader, would do if you knew your remaining time on earth was very limited.

For many people settling old scores would be high on the list, but I was surprised at the level of violence it unleashed in Kenny.

Neil Cross is a skilled story teller and knows how to follow ideas through to their most logical conclusion, at the same time as ratcheting the tension ever upwards. ( )
  smik | Aug 25, 2013 |
quite liked this author will read more of his books ( )
  Suzannie1 | Jan 28, 2013 |
couldn't put it down. ( )
  magentaflake | Oct 11, 2012 |
This is the first book I have read by Neil Cross, and I was looking forward to it as I have enjoyed both Spooks and Luther, TV programmes he has either written, or had a hand in writing.

I wasn't disappointed with this book. It's the story of Kenny Drummond, a young man who has discovered he has only weeks to live and decides to make it up to four people to whom he feels he owes something. This is a good premise for a story, but I couldn't really see how it would end up being a thriller. I won't give the story away, but it's certainly not a run of the mill type thriller.

It's a short book, and an easy read, with nice bite-size chapters, and it kept me interested enough all the way through to want to find out what happened at the end. Kenny isn't the more likeable character in the world, but I still felt enough about him to engage with his feelings and understand why he does some, if not all, of the actions he does in the story.

It's quite an odd sort of story, but I'd definitely read more of Neil Cross's books in the future. ( )
  nicx27 | Dec 2, 2010 |
One of the things that I've really come to expect from author Neil Cross is not quite knowing what to expect when you pick up one of this books. CAPTURED is the latest in a set of standalone novels that have just all been fantastic, and I'm happy to report that CAPTURED keeps up the standard.

When Kenny finds out he has a matter of weeks to live he draws up the sort of list that I guess many of us might draw up. People that he wants to clear the air with. He starts out tracking down the man who, as a little boy had been nearly abducted. Kenny had seen the suspect trailing the boy, and yet, when the police questioned him, he wasn't able to provide much detail. Kenny wants to apologise. He wants to make things right with his ex-wife, and still closest friend, but somehow he can't quite get to her name just yet. So he tries to track down his old school-yard friend. Callie had been kind to Kenny when he was a loner, awkward, a kid that didn't quite fit in. Callie, unfortunately, isn't easy to find, in fact she has disappeared in unexpected circumstances. Kenny wants to to make things right, and yet, despite his best intentions it ends up not right. About as far from right as you can possibly get.

CAPTURED is just one of the most fascinating novels I've read in a long time. Kenny is a character that will endear you to him, freak you out completely, but in the end, you just can't help but feel so desperately for a man for whom the best of intentions somehow manage to go so incredibly wrong. His complete inability to pull back from the abyss is intriguing. Is it human nature or is it something to do with the ticking time bomb in his brain? Tightly told, quick moving and tense, at no stage does CAPTURED read like a script despite Cross having credentials as a screenwriter. It's also not just a story about Kenny. There are other characters in this book who stand out from the page - the people who help Kenny and support him, and those who come up against him.

If there is anything at all that links Cross's recent books (NATURAL HISTORY / BURIAL and now CAPTURED) it is possibly the theme of the ordinary, flawed human being, pushed way outside their comfort zone. Add to that a talent for creating bleak and vaguely threatening settings; crisp, spare yet beautifully flowing prose and characterisations that tear at the heartstrings even when they are doing the unforgivable and it just has to be said. Do yourselves a favour. CAPTURED is a one sitting, absolutely tremendous, extremely disturbing book that you'll not forget in a hurry. ( )
  austcrimefiction | Jun 1, 2010 |
Showing 5 of 5
Captured gives off an impression of power held in reserve, and it serves an authentic, unsparing vision of goodwill undone by misfortune.
 
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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 in school together. But when Kenny begins his search, he discovers that Callie Barton has gone missing and her husband seems to be hiding something.… (more)

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