Top critical review
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Should have been better
on April 24, 2014
I like Nora Roberts’ books. I am a fan. The woman is prolific - in many languages. It would be impossible to pick just one favorite; I’d need a list of at least ten. That being said…
If you are planning to write another book about a murder witness – it can even be said it was a mob-like murder – then you need to exceed what you have written before. One can’t read this book without the mind blinking back to The Witness. The Collector does not have the depth of character development or plot development readers found in The Witness. And Nora Roberts undoubtedly knew there would be comparisons, but it’s not a comparison I’m making.
First, I was pleased I didn’t run into those Nora Roberts’ phrases that seem to carry forward from book to book. That was nice.
Second, the love-making paragraphs were almost non-existent when compared to other works. I’m okay with this. Do something different for a change. Why not?
And okay, one true comparison to The Witness: I’m not even annoyed that there is also an artist in The Collector who paints whimsical beings – I just don’t buy that the artist is a macho, take charge guy.
The characters were not as well developed; I found them to be flat, one-dimensional. And our heroine and her friend seemed to be so chatty it became annoying – like watching a bad movie where you are thinking the scene could have been edited out. The chatty conversation didn’t add to either the characters or the story.
The relationships didn’t really develop, either. Sure, the best friend (Julie) could have been doing quite a bit of relationship development when she and her ex-husband (Luke) were not front and center to the story. But we really do not see the relationship between Lila (our heroine) and Ashton (the whimsical artist) develop. Their passion and love grew from almost nothing. People thrown together in intense situations can form quick bonds, but not to the extent they decide to marry.
The police investigators were so mild they were almost comatose.
I don’t mind knowing the assassin will free herself from her captors at the end to give our heroine one more try; how many times do we see the bad, monstrous guy die and yet we know he isn’t? We know he will jump up from the grave, the bathtub the bushes. But make it work my sticking around. The Collector doesn’t. It’s almost anti-climatic. No big finish. No satisfying finish.
I know there will be readers who disagree with me on every point, but after waiting for months for this book to come out, I’m disappointed in the result. My overall opinion is: if you are a fan and have to read this, by all means read it. But have one of your favorites handy to satisfy your mind when you have finished. The Collector will definitely not make my list of all time best Nora Roberts’ books.