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The Doll Collection [Kindle Edition]

Joanna Stephen-Ward
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $9.00
Kindle Price: $3.50
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Book Description

Murders that look like accidents. Accidents that looks like murders.

A psychological thriller.

A couple and their young son burn to death in a house fire. A girl dies from a nut allergy. A woman falls under a train during the rush hour. An accountant falls down the steps to his basement. Their deaths appear to be accidents. Only Gloria knows they were murders, because she murdered them.

Each time she kills someone she buys a doll.

A shy young man who has had a nervous breakdown, advertises for a lodger to solve his financial problems. Gloria moves in. He has no idea she has already murdered six people. His life becomes a nightmare. As her character becomes more twisted, it is no longer enough to kill her victims. First she must wreck their lives and witness their suffering.

Product Details

  • File Size: 445 KB
  • Print Length: 253 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1481045059
  • Publisher: Popham Gardens Publishing (January 7, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005E0QXES
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #683,143 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping February 28, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I flew through this book in only a number of hours, finding it fascinating from cover to cover.
The characters are so well defined that I either loved or hated them on sight (?). Gloria is a psychopath of the first order and, as with any psychopath, was well able to manipulate all who happened upon her sphere of influence. At times I felt like slapping some of the characters for putting up with her annoying minor machinations, especially Felicity and Odette, but could well understand their motives for keeping the neighbourly peace.
This is the second book I've read recently by author Joanna Stephen-Ward and I for one, will be anticipating many more in the future.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great suspense January 29, 2012
By BeeJay
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As a previous reviewer said the character is evil, and you know something bad is going to happen but you're not sure what. The suspense grabbed me and held me as I had to keep reading to find out what she got up to next. Highly recommended.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pure Evil Behind Those Polite British Smiles January 14, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a humdinger of a psycho-thriller that reminded me of "The Collector" by John Fowles and "The Moviegoer" by Walker Percy. The pure evil of the main character, Gloria, is never in doubt. With each person she kills, she adds another doll to the collection on her windowsill--hence the title. Reading this book is an exercise in mountin dread, as Gloria increasingly takes over the life of everyone she meets through her manipulative maneuvers. It's interesting that the polite British sense of decorum is as much to blame for the success of Gloria's crimes as much as Gloria herself. If one of her victims had simply spoken directly to her, and thrown her out instead of passively putting up with her, she wouldn't have collected quite so many dolls. The only thing not to like about the book, oddly enough, was the ending, which neither surprised nor satisfied me. I can't really go into the reasons without giving too much away. And I greatly enjoyed the book in spite of the ending, and in fact wanted it to continue.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars E equals evil equals Gloria April 25, 2012
By VickiT
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
"L-O-V-E. L . . . loathsome, O . . . obese, V . . . vicious or vile, vile is a more suitable word for her, I think, E . . . elephant? No, elephants are nice, egotist, no - evil. E equals evil." - The Doll Collection

A gripping psychological thriller that had me wanting to warn the hapless Maurice at every turn about what he'd got himself into. Though Maurice is the protagonist in the story, the manipulating and conniving Gloria is the centre of attention, but then she wouldn't have it any other way.

Gloria, the doll collector of the title, is the embodiment of evil. I don't think I've ever despised a character as much as I did her.

Don't say I didn't warn you...
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An engaging thriller April 25, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The Doll Collection is a well written thriller with the main character Gloria, a manipulative psychopath already skilled in the art of murder. When Maurice, a fairly shy and naive man, advertises for a lodger to help make the rent, he ends up with more than he bargained for when he starts sharing a house with Gloria. The book mainly follows the story of Gloria, Maurice, their neighbours and the scheming father and son who own the real estate agency that has been hounding Maurice for some time.

For me the novel started a little slowly, but quickly became riveting and I managed to finish the book within a day. I feel that the author really captured the emotions of the characters and made it very easy to either like or dislike each character immediately. I would have given the book four stars, but I felt that the ending was a little too neat and that a bit more suspense could have been built in.

The book is well formatted and edited, with only a couple of very minor typos (no more than books I have read from traditional publishers) and I am looking forward to reading more titles by this author.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Doll Collection March 27, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The dolls are the happiest characters in the book.The author has written an excellent and engrossing thriller.I just wish that it wasn't so sad.I am eager awaiting another thriller by Joanna Stephen/Ward
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gloria is really evil January 3, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Gloria is a psychopath, a monster who successfully and permanently eliminates various people who have annoyed her in some way. Somehow they all have accidents or unexplained deaths - but she remembers all of them and keeps a memento of each one in the form of a doll in a collection she keeps in her room.

Gloria moves in with Maurice as his lodger, and begins to shape him to her wishes. Maurice is a very weak character and the suspense grows as Gloria starts to tire of him...

The Doll Collection is the embodiment of evil. One of our best friends collects antique dolls and in future whenever I see them I will shiver in case one of them might have my name on it.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard to put down April 25, 2012
By JJulieJ
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A gripping suspense that is hard to put down so don't start reading it late at night.

Gloria is a truly evil character, and following her increasingly manupulative antics is almost addictive. Add in a couple of nasty real estate agents to help build the suspense, some charming potential victims, and the tension mounts steadily.

Although I really enjoyed this book I felt the ending was just a touch anticlimatic, perhaps too soft given the suspense throughout the rest of the book, but it wasn't an unsatisfying ending.

Well written, good editing and excellent formatting make this book a pleasure to read.

Thanks, Joanna, for an engrossing tale well told.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Doll Collection
Good book
Published 4 months ago by Banana Farmer
4.0 out of 5 stars Liked it
Kept my interest to the end. A number of sympathic characters and one crazy lady!!
Published 7 months ago by TV Watcher
1.0 out of 5 stars Not very good
The book had good ideas but took the long way around telling the story. Gloria s pessimism got old fast and was boring.
Published 15 months ago by Dee Owers
2.0 out of 5 stars not quite as expected
Even though the story is supposed to be disturbing. I found the main character too annoying. Very long build up throughout the book but then a quick ending that tied up all the... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Helen Scott
2.0 out of 5 stars Didn't Meet My Expectations
I started this book because I thought it looked creepy (from the name and front cover). The book failed to creep me out and I don't think it lived up to the blurb which sounded... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
This book provided a good story line, with interesting scenes. I could not get enough of it. Had to finish it in one sitting
Published 20 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars A journey into the mind of a psychopath!
Fast moving page turner which kept me engaged to the end. The end was a little disappointing. Natural consequences were a bit over the top.
Published 21 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Genre for comic horror? This is original
The Doll Collection is a tongue-in-cheek portrayal of a woman murderer and sociopath, uncaught and clever enough to avoid any typical mystery slips or formats. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Katherine L. Holmes
2.0 out of 5 stars Blah!
This was a very short stories about a possessed doll. The story was pretty simple and kinda expected. It was ok. Would only recommended toting if its free.
Published 22 months ago by Kjs
3.0 out of 5 stars Creepy and Corny
I know what it is like to be unwanted by family members because of a disability. But wow, this is pretty intense and it was heartbreaking in the end when your own mother writes... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Mustang Fyant
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More About the Author

Turbulent family relationships, secrets and tragedy were the inspiration behind Eumeralla. Born in the Australian outback, Joanna was adopted and grew up in Melbourne. She knew who her biological father was, but the identity of her biological mother was kept secret.

In 2010 her sister found her on Face Book. They were last together on a verandah in the Australian outback when Joanna was six months old and her sister was two years old. Their joyful reunion took place in Cornwall, England in 2012.

Vissi d'arte was inspired by Gertrude Johnson, the charismatic founder of the Australian National Theatre and Joanna's three years at The National Theatre Opera School.

Wanderlust overwhelmed her and she spent a year travelling through Europe and the UK. Instinctively knowing that her destiny lay in England, she settled in London where she worked for the National Health Service, while attending part-time drama school.

She found love and married Peter, an architect, in the ancient church of St Peter's in Petersham. She and Peter joined the Richmond Writers' Circle in 1997 and she became the chairman eighteen months later. While working full time at The National Archives in Kew, and running the writers circle, she completed three novels.

She is working on a detective novel set in Cornwall and a sequel to Eumeralla.

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