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The Collective: A Novel by Alison Gaylin

The Collective: A Novel (edition 2021)

by Alison Gaylin (Author)

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1215183,320 (4.16)None
Title:The Collective: A Novel
Authors:Alison Gaylin (Author)
Info:William Morrow (2021), 352 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Collective by Alison Gaylin


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This is the first book by Alison Gaylin that I have read. “The Collective” reminded me of the book “The Chain.” How far would you go to get revenge against the murderer of your child?

The killer of Camille’s daughter not only has gotten away with the murder, shockingly he was just awarded a Humanitarian Award. Camille goes ballistic and attracts the attention of a group of women calling themselves The Collective. Accessed on the dark web, the women share their stories of grief over losing their children and vent their anger. They all want justice. The Collective makes that happen.

But when does justice become revenge? Is revenge killing ever justified? Is collateral damage acceptable? There is a lot to think about here.

Camille swears loyalty to The Collective but what happens when she wants out? I was completely immersed in the story but didn’t see the ending coming even though I should have.

Excellent writing. A somewhat slow start that quickly gained momentum. Twists that worked well with the story. And a stunning conclusion. ( )
  BettyTaylor56 | Nov 11, 2021 |
“We’re grieving mothers, all of us. Wild cards.”

Five years after the death of her fifteen year old daughter, Camille Gardner still seethes with grief, pain and rage. The knowledge that the young man, who drugged, raped and left Emily to die in the woods during a frat party, escaped any repercussions, thanks in part to his wealth and privilege, is a torment she struggles to accept. So after a messy public incident with the boy and his family at an awards ceremony leads Camille to a mysterious collective on the dark web that promises to deliver the justice she craves in exchange for keeping their secrets, she eagerly accepts.

Alison Gaylin delivers on a provocative premise that explores grief, guilt, justice and vengeance in The Collective. It’s a shame, I think, that the synopsis supplied by the publisher gives some crucial details away as it reduces the suspense somewhat, though to Gaylin’s credit, the well paced plot is still compelling, and offers some shocking twists.

The author’s portrayal of Camille, trapped in a fugue state of grief and rage, feels authentic. As a parent myself I sympathised with Camille, easily imagining the depth of her loss, and her anguish of knowing that the person responsible remained unpunished. I can’t really fault her, or the other women who have lost their children to deliberate acts, for their graphic fantasies of revenge. As Camille is drawn into the Collective she is convinced of the righteousness of their actions…until they turn on her.

The Collective is the rare thriller I think would make for an excellent book club reading, raising as it does some challenging questions about moral relativism. This is a clever, thought-provoking and gripping novel. ( )
  shelleyraec | Nov 11, 2021 |
Original! Scary!

Your child is killed, the accused is set free with little or no repercussions. Justice has not been served! Would you or could you take matters in your own hands and make sure the killer pays for what they did? Karma!

A group of mothers grieving together on a Facebook site. Daydreaming out loud about making their child’s killer pay. Then, you are invited to join a highly secretive group on the dark web, where Karma is given out, but at what price.

This book is original, and so realistic and far reaching enough that I so could see it happening, especially in this day and age. Story is well written, you can feel the pain of the characters, especially Camille a grieving mother whose world is upside down and inside out at the death of her teenage daughter. She’s angry. Makes heartfelt and vivid comments and is led to the dark world of The Collective, where she is sucked in and karma is dealt out methodically and meticulously. Very well written. This story kept me reading well into the night. The ending was a heart pounding surprise! I look forward to reading this author again.

Thanks to Alison Gaylin, William Morrow and NetGalley for this ARC. Opinion is mine alone. ( )
  LoriKBoyd | Nov 10, 2021 |
bailed at 18% (or a bit more)
  joyblue | Nov 6, 2021 |
The Collective by Alison Gaylin is a very highly recommended unpredictable psychological thriller. An excellent, stay-up-late-to-finish page-turner.

Camille Gardener is still grieving the loss of her 15 year-old daughter, Emily, who was raped and left to die five years ago by 17 year-old college student Harris Blanchard. During the trial Emily's reputation was besmirched and Blanchard was acquitted. Now Blanchard is receiving an award from the college and Camille is angry that he never suffered any consequences for his crime. She shows up at the ceremony and yells "Murderer" at him, is immediately arrested, and a film of her breakdown goes viral on social media. When leaving the police station a woman passes Camille a card with one word on it: Niobe.

First Camille finds Niobe, which is a facebook group of grieving mothers who have lost their children and the murderers have never been held responsible. This group leads to an invitation to a group on the dark web where mothers are free to vent their rage and revenge fantasies. Then Camille is introduced through private message to the vigilante group The Collective, who seek revenge in the real world by working together to make it happen. The rules for participation are strict, however, and noncompliance is not an option.

The Collective builds slowly at the beginning as it tells the backstory and establishes Camille anger, grief, and rage. She is unable to move on and this new group may provide a safe way to help her recover. You will hope it does, and it seems to be giving her the outlet she needs to openly rage against the injustice of her daughter's death among a group of mothers who support her. The group quickly takes a more ominous tone once she is invited to participate in The Collective and Camille begins to question certain things.

Camille is a mother full of grief, pain, and rage, so you might be able to sympathize with her even if her extreme and overwhelming emotions are out-of-control. You'll understand that she needs a support group, she needs a way to express her fury over the injustice meted out to Emily. She is not an especially likable character, and her stability is questionable, but she is certainly a realistic character.

Excellent writing propels The Collective forward to an irresistible, unputdownable thriller. The concept of grieving mothers desiring to extract justice without mercy raises the tension quickly. The plot quickly escalates in the second half and you will find yourself glued to the pages. This is an engaging and compelling novel that you will stay up late to finish. The ending was totally unexpected in so many ways. The Collective is an outstanding thriller!
Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of HarperCollins.
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4301081802 ( )
  SheTreadsSoftly | Oct 22, 2021 |
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