It’s been five years since Camille Gardener’s fifteen-year-old daughter Emily was murdered. While attending a frat party at nearby Brayburn College in upstate New York, Emily was taken to the woods by seventeen-year-old Harris Blanchard. There, after a night of drinking, he raped her and left her to die. Blanchard was acquitted after his wealthy parents’ lawyers painted Emily as a wild party girl. Camille cannot move her life ahead from this tragedy. She is now divorced. When Blanchard is given a humanitarian award by Brayburn, she is compelled to attend and cannot control herself at the ceremony. While there, she is approached by a woman who gives her a card about an online group of grieving mothers who have similarly lost children and their murderers never paid for their crimes. What appears to be a harmless Facebook group of women seeking support evolves into a dark web meeting place for mothers seeking true revenge and justice.
At first Camille does not believe that the group (The Collective) truly intends on carrying out each mother’s violent fantasy for revenge. But she soon sees how serious the group is and once she’s pledged to be a part of the group’s plans, it might be too late to turn back. Author Alison Gaylin has created a very dark and tense story that sucked me into this compelling story although it may not be suitable for everyone due to its violence. There are some very good twists and turns as the rage escalates.
Many thanks to William Morrow | Custom House | HarperCollins, Scene of the Crime and NetGalley for the opportunity to read The Collective in advance of its publication.
Rated 4 out of 5 stars.
Publication Date: November 2, 2021.
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