Wednesday, November 10, 2021

"The Collective"

USA Today and international bestselling author Alison Gaylin has won the Edgar and Shamus awards. Her work has been published in the US, UK, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Japan, Germany, Romania and Denmark, and she has been nominated for numerous awards, including the Macavity, Anthony, ITW Thriller and Strand Book Award.

Gaylin applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, The Collective, and reported the following:
Page 69 of The Collective finds the main character, Camille, teetering on a precipice of sorts. After hearing that Gerard Krakowski – a neighborhood vigilante who fatally shot an unarmed young man and was cleared of the crime – has died in what appears to be a shooting accident, she’s private messaged the young man’s mother, Rachel Ruley, telling her that she sees it as justice. Camille and Rachel belong to Niobe, a private Facebook group for grieving mothers let down by the legal system. And, though she doesn’t personally know Rachel, Camille is hoping she’ll hear back so that she can get a sense of how she feels. While Camille sees that Rachel has read her letter, she doesn’t hear back. “She has nothing to say to me, and that’s fine,” she says, midway through the page. At the bottom of the page, though, Camille goes to her professional website and checks her email: “The second email is from what looks like a meaningless series of numbers. Spam, I think. But then I notice the subject line: Justice.”

Though not the most dramatic or violent scene in the book, page 69 captures the moment that truly sets the plot in motion. The “justice” email contains the link that ultimately leads Camille to the dark web – and to the shadowy group of grieving and angry mothers known as the collective.

From here on in, Camille becomes tangled up in this group, which at first seems like a safe space in which these women can voice their revenge fantasies – but soon appears to be something far more powerful, and dangerous. If I reveal too much more, there will be spoilers, but I will say that in the case of The Collective, the page 69 test definitely works!
Learn more about the book and author at Alison Gaylin's website.

The Page 69 Test: Into the Dark.

The Page 69 Test: What Remains of Me.

The Page 69 Test: If I Die Tonight.

--Marshal Zeringue