Book Review: The Collective by Alison Gaylin
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Hook: How far would Camille go to exact her revenge? How far would any of us go?
Time of Year to Read: Any time really, but definitely a good beach read or in Winter when it’s bleak outside.
Would I Recommend This to Other Busy Parents: Yes, if you have the stomach for it.
Similar Reads: I haven’t read anything like it before!
Synopsis: Camille Gardner is a grieving mother who lost her daughter five years ago. The courts acquitted the man (boy) she holds responsible, and she understandably can’t let it go and move on with her life.
After a very public outburst, she catches the attention of a group of women on the dark web who all relate to Camille’s hatred and loss. As she gets drawn in deeper and spends more time online with the group, each woman details the way they hope their children’s’ killers can be punished. Trigger warning – these are pretty graphic depictions. Camille finds herself being asked to complete very specific tasks for the group and begins to think that these seemingly innocuous tasks are actually linked to real revenge murders.
As she becomes more deeply involved, Camille struggles with right and wrong, the lengths she would go for her revenge…and begins to realize the collective might not be the “safe haven” she thought.
The Collective is so unique. It reads as a relatable thriller, something I’ve never experienced before as a reader. As a parent, I could easily put myself in the main character’s shoes – what would I be willing to do to exact revenge if one of my children were (Heaven forbid) taken from this Earth by someone else?