Review: The Collective by Alison Gaylin

Title: The Collective
Author: Alison Gaylin
Publisher: William Morrow
Release Date: November 2nd, 2021
Page Length: 338
Genre: Thriller
Age Range: Adult
Rating: 4⭐

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Goodreads Synopsis:

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.

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.


With this being a thriller, I don’t plan on going into great details because the less you know the better – or at least that’s how I look at it.

The Collective isn’t like anything I’ve ever read before. It’s a story about revenge and grief. You’ll find yourself questioning what’s right and wrong – and what you would consider doing in that situation. I love how Camille, and us as readers, are introduced into the Collective and how everything keeps escalating. I found the characters flawed, but likable, and as we learn more we see just how flawed everyone truly is.

The twists and turns throughout the story were constantly surprising me to the point where I ended up just enjoying the ride. I learned early that I wouldn’t be able to guess what the twist was. Despite fully knowing that I wouldn’t know the twist, I was even more surprised than I could have thought. I found the ending very satisfying for that very reason.

This was an enjoyable ride that I think many will end up enjoying. It now has me curious for Alison Gaylin’s other books – I should also probably give the books mentioned in the synopsis a try.

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