If you enjoyed Adrian McKinty’s The Chain, but it wasn’t as impressive as you’d hoped for, Alison Gaylin swoops into the thriller genre with her newest novel published this month titled The Collective.

I gave Adrian McKinty’s The Chain a 4/5 rating in the end. It was a great thriller, but there was definitely room for improvement. With Gaylin’s The Collective, she takes a similar concept and elevates it to an easy 5/5 rating. I read it all in one sitting.

The Plot

The Collective is a thrilling tale of revenge and grief. When Camille’s daughter Emily dies, Camille spirals.

Emily was found freezing in the snowy woods and survived for three days in the hospital, her last words revealing that the college boy she went to a fraternity party with plied her with too much alcohol, raped her, and left her for dead. The perpetrator gets off scot-free and Camille lashes out as she tries to rationalize her pain.

All of this leads Camille into a secret group, The Collective, where women with similar stories take revenge on those who were not served justice.

The Verdict

I could not put this down. The narrative is twisty although the premise is straightforward. Camille navigates the need for punishment and revenge, finding herself wrapped in complex grief and emotions about right and wrong. The characters we follow are dynamic and keep you on your toes. You’ll never see the ending coming.

The prose is simple, yet engrossing. Gaylin has created a thriller that repurposes the concept of revenge killing into something fresh with her take on Camille and her involvement in The Collective. While the idea is not exactly original (ex. The Chain), Gaylin creates a novel that is captivating and creates an atmosphere that is all encompassing to the reader.

This is one of the best novels I’ve read in the last few months. Pick it up today!

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)