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Book Review: The Collector by Fiona Cummins

Sometimes all I need to nudge me into reading a book I’ve been meaning to get to… is to discover that there’s a sequel coming out! Which is how I finally came to read Fiona Cummins’ Rattle and its sequel The Collector in such quick succession.

Jakey escaped with his life and moved to a new town. His rescue was a miracle but his parents know that the Collector is still out there, watching, waiting . . .

Clara, the girl he left behind, dreams of being found. Her mother is falling apart but she will not give up hope.

The Collector has found an apprentice to take over his family’s legacyBut he can’t forget the one who got away and the detective who destroyed his dreams.

DS Etta Fitzroy must hunt him down before his obsession destroys them all.

Fiona Cummins relocates the action from London to the East Coast of England in The Collector. It follows Jakey and his family as they try a fresh start in a new home, although Jakey is unsettled and senses that the Collector is never far away. And he’d be right; the Collector’s licking his wounds but he’s also considering starting over. When DS Etta Fitzroy is drawn East too, with a new partner in tow, in order to follow up a lead in her missing person’s case, all the players are in position and the macabre games can recommence. And I mean macabre. This seemed altogether darker and more disturbing than Rattle, not least because we see how the Collector sets up his new lair.

Having come to know Etta, Jakey, Clara and even the Collector in Rattle, I was already invested in them as characters but Fiona Cummins ups the ante in The Collector. And, interestingly, it’s the youngsters who come to the fore in this sequel as they battle to get the grown ups to believe them, stay sane and, most importantly, stay alive. I liked that they weren’t being helpless victims but actively trying to fight the demons they knew or sensed were close and how they found the strength and will to do so.

I think you could just about get away with reading this without having first read Rattle but I wouldn’t recommend it. It’ll be much more satisfying if you read them both, and reasonably close together while everything’s still fresh in your mind. Given how Rattle ends, I might have felt slightly frustrated with where it was left had I read it last year and I’m glad that I waited until this one to read them both.

Bringing Fiona Cummins’ special brand of bleak human behaviour to the coast makes it all the more chilling than Rattle‘s city location. This is a place where children should be safer, with its more open landscape of farmland and beach holidays, fish and chips and ice cream, and caravan parks. So it’s all the more disturbing that something so messed up is happening here, a quieter place of escape and refuge to many (except perhaps the local youngsters). The Collector is a slick, edgy thriller and a fitting sequel to Rattle. I can’t wait to see where Fiona Cummins goes next.

The Collector by Fiona Cummins is the sequel to Rattle, both published by Macmillan. It is available as an audiobook and an ebook and in hardback with the paperback due out this October. You can find it at Amazon UK, Audible UK, Foyles, Hive (supporting your local independent bookshop), Waterstones and Wordery. For more on Fiona Cummins and her books and events, see her Author Page on her publisher’s site or follow her on Twitter

My thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy through NetGalley

*Giveaway* To get you started, I have a paperback of Rattle to give away. Leave a comment below and the squirrels will pick a winner at the weekend.  

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