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The Big Thrill Recommends: CAPTIVES by Travis Tougaw

Book Cover: CAPTIVESRecommended by Gregory Stout

Travis Tougaw’s CAPTIVES, which follows Foxholes, is the second installment in the Denver-based Marcotte and Collins private detective series. This time around, the PIs, Hadley Collins, Vince Marcotte, and Eddie Fleck, are hired by a woman named Jenny Davidson—an old high school friend of Hadley’s—to locate her younger brother Jonah, who has been missing and presumed kidnapped for more than 15 years. As is typical in novels of this genre, the investigation starts slowly, as there are few leads, and the ones that do turn up initially don’t pan out. There is also a parallel backstory having to do with Hadley Collins’ own abduction 23 years earlier. While the two events are not connected, Hadley’s story imparts in her a level of empathy she might not otherwise feel.

Eventually, a clue turns up, which leads the detectives to a commune in eastern Colorado, which is protected not only by extensive security devices but also by local law enforcement, which appears to be on the under-the-table payroll of the landowner. But is the missing boy, now a teenager, living in the commune, and if he is, does he even remember his original family? In the end, as the story reaches its conclusion, all hell breaks loose, as the FBI gets involved (kidnapping of a minor child is a federal offense), shots are fired, and long-buried secrets are exposed. CAPTIVES is a well-written novel with a well-developed plot line that engages the reader all the way to the end.


The Big Thrill Recommends: CAPTIVES by Travis Tougaw