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The Collective: A Novel (Hardcover)
The USA Today bestselling and Edgar Award–winning author of Never Look Back and If I Die Tonight plumbs the dark side of justice and the depths of diabolical revenge in this propulsive novel of psychological suspense that melds the driving narrative of Then She Was Gone with the breathtaking twists of The Chain and the violent fury of Kill Bill.
“Alison Gaylin’s The Collective is an astonishing feat. In the tradition of Ira Levin’s unforgettable social thrillers (Rosemary’s Baby, Stepford Wives), it’s a nerve-shredding, emotionally harrowing ride that also speaks volumes about our current moment, the dangers of our digital world, the potency of female rage. Don’t miss it.” —Megan Abbott
Just how far will a grieving mother go to right a tragic wrong?
Camille Gardner is a grieving—and angry—mother who, five years after her daughter’s death, is still obsessed with the privileged young man she believes to be responsible.
When her rash actions attract the attention of a secret group of women—the collective—Camille is drawn into a dark web where these mothers share their wildly different stories of loss as well as their desire for justice in a world where privilege denies accountability and perpetrators emerge unscathed. Fueled by mutual rage, these women orchestrate their own brand of justice through precise, anonymous, complexly plotted and perfectly executed revenge killings, with individual members completing a specific and integral task in each plan.
As Camille struggles to comprehend whether this is a role-playing exercise or terrifying reality, she must decide if these women are truly avenging angels or monsters. Becoming more deeply enmeshed in the group, Camille learns truths about the collective—and about herself—that she may not be able to survive.
About the Author
Alison Gaylin is the award-winning author of Hide Your Eyes and its sequel, You Kill Me; the standalones Trashed and Heartless; and the Brenna Spector series: And She Was, Into the Dark, and Stay with Me. A graduate of Northwestern University and of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, she lives with her husband and daughter in Woodstock, New York.
“Alison Gaylin’s The Collective is an astonishing feat. In the tradition of Ira Levin’s unforgettable social thrillers (Rosemary’s Baby, Stepford Wives), it’s a nerve-shredding, emotionally harrowing ride that also speaks volumes about our current moment, the dangers of our digital world, the potency of female rage. Don’t miss it.”
— Megan Abbott, national bestselling author of The Turnout
“Alison Gaylin's The Collective feels like the book of the moment, the year. Clever, compassionate and all too believable, it's a stunning achievement by one of my favorite writers
— Laura Lippman, New York Times Bestselling Author of DREAM GIRL
“Alison Gaylin's The Collective is a dark and sinister ride that goes straight to the heart of revenge. Not just what it means, but what it costs. This is a highly entertaining, and terrifying, read."
— Peter Swanson, New York Times bestselling author of Every Vow You Make
“Alison Gaylin’s The Collective is your next addiction: A diabolically clever thriller filled with spine-tingling twists, it’s also a psychologically rich exploration of vengeance and justice. I can’t stop thinking about this book.”
— Alafair Burke, New York Times Bestselling Author of THE BETTER SISTER
"Brutal, raw, and beautifully wrought THE COLLECTIVE is psychological suspense of the first order. A mother’s grief ignites into rage, leading her down a dark, twisting, dangerous road to a certain brand of justice. Alison Gaylin doesn’t pull a single punch in this layered, engrossing, and nerve shattering thriller where wrong is right and revenge is a dish served white hot.”
— Lisa Unger, New York Times bestselling author of CONFESSIONS ON THE 7:45
"The Collective is a propulsive, emotional conspiracy thriller powered by the all-consuming fire of maternal rage. Without pretty moralizing, Gaylin shows both the destruction and visceral satisfaction that come with revenge. I am a peaceful person, but also a mother, and I read the whole book with a killer's heart.”
— Steph Cha, award-winning author of Your House Will Pay
“Aflame with tension, this intricate, powerful thriller rips a tunnel into a past as deep and dark as the midnight sky.”
— A. J. Finn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in the Window, on Never Look Back
“Nothing is as it seems in Gaylin’s addictive, shape-shifting thriller... a twisty-turny plot that will sizzle your summer.”
— People (Included in “The Best New Books”), on Never Look Back
“Mystery and true crime aficionados will delight in piecing together the puzzle in Edgar winner Gaylin’s (If I Die Tonight) deliciously twisty novel.”
— Library Journal (starred review) on Never Look Back
“Expertly crafted… A mind-bending mystery, an insightful exploration of parent-child relationships, and a cautionary tale about bitterness and blame.”
— Kirkus Reviews (starred review), on Never Look Back
“Alison Gaylin’s 11th novel perceptively examines family dynamics, the domino effects of violence and our personal stories — real or invented — that help us maneuver through life. The strong tension that launches Never Look Back only intensifies with each surprising twist… Never Look Back is another superior outing from Gaylin.”
— Associated Press