I’ve had a short detour into the realm of thrillers with Anita Waller’s smashing read, Captor.
“Liz Chambers is a devoted mother who works for a successful law firm. She has two children, a husband and a blossoming career. But behind closed doors, Liz is harbouring a secret that could destroy her life.
Then the unthinkable happens, and in a frenzied attack, her young son is snatched from the home of the childminder charged with looking after him.
As Liz’s life unfolds, it becomes clear that someone is out for revenge.
Desperate to get her baby boy back, Liz must work out who is responsible for his kidnap, and why.
But as the body count begins to mount, Liz’s concern grows for the safety of her child.
Who has taken her baby?
And why is Captor so determined on revenge?”
What makes a good thriller? Relatable characters, a relatable plot, and a fast pace with plenty of twists along the way are all essential elements of a good thriller. Deviate from the strictures and the author will risk alienating thriller readers who don’t want detailed backstory, long paragraphs of reflection or thick descriptions. Thrillers have to create an edge of seat tension in the mind of the reader and they absolutely must not falter or meander in any way. Reading Anita Waller’s novel, it is plain she has mastered every element of the thriller genre with finesse.
Captor does not miss a beat. The twists come at just the right moment and drive the plot forward at breakneck speed. The protagonist, Liz Chambers, is sufficiently complex and flawed to make her likeable if selfish and blinkered, and Waller leaves it to her readers to judge Liz’s past and present deeds. Indeed, it is Liz’s questionable acts and decisions that provoke the reader to think and ponder what they might do, or not do in a similar situation.
The story unfolds rapidly once Liz’s baby son is taken, and from then on Captor is laced with a satisfying mix of mystery and complexity. The parallel narrative works well too, in keeping the reader informed and building up tension. I defy any reader to put this book down before they get to the end!
I thoroughly enjoyed Captor, and look forward to reading more from the author.