After being disappointed in Ms. Roberts’ last book Whiskey Beach (reviewed here), I wasn’t sure what to expect from her newest, The Collector. I’m happy to report I’m very pleased with this one. It’s a bit different – an intriguing mix of Ms. Roberts’ writing and J.D. Robb’s – making it an entertaining, edgy, romantic suspense thriller.
Lila Emerson is a quirky professional house-sitter and author of young adult werewolf books. She enjoys living in other people’s homes and she takes great pleasure in scoping out her surroundings. With the use of binoculars, she spies on the neighborhood and uses her vivid imagination to create stories about her neighbors. Unfortunately, one evening she witnesses a murder. The police conclude a boyfriend murdered his girlfriend and then took his own life. However the boyfriend’s brother, Ashton, is sure they are wrong and enlists Lila’s help in finding out the truth.
Ashton is a famous artist and comes from a close, loving, somewhat dysfunctional family of considerable wealth – so different from Lila’s life. Of course it’s predictable that they will fall in love, but that part of the story unfolds slowly, exquisitely, while the hunt for the truth leads to Faberge eggs, and murder. There is a great supporting cast – Ashton’s best friend and Lila’s best friend turn out to have a history together and a lovely romance blossoms there. The detectives working the case add some insight into the world of overworked cops with wit and humor. We get a peak into the world of the rich and into the world of evil. There are gruesome murders, ruthless assassins, touching love stories, great family interaction, art, antiques, cops, and humor all woven into an entertaining, engaging story.
It was fun to visit the life of a house-sitter, and an artist and learn about Faberge eggs. Having no interest in those particular subjects, Ms. Roberts was able to keep me entertained, interested and engaged in the characters and story line.