The Collective

A Novel

by Alison Gaylin

On Sale: 11/02/2021

The Collective

Enlarge Book Cover

The Collective

A Novel

by Alison Gaylin

On Sale: 11/02/2021


About the Book

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

“Alison Gaylin’s The Collective is an astonishing feat. In the tradition of Ira Levin’s unforgettable social thrillers (Rosemary’s Baby, Stepford Wives), it’s a nerve-shredding, emotionally harrowing ride that also speaks volumes about our current moment, the dangers of our digital world, the potency of female rage. Don’t miss it.” —Megan Abbott, New York Times bestselling author

"Chilling...this terrific novel is...propelled by an iron-tight plot that becomes increasingly tense." --New York Times Book Review

Just how far will a grieving mother go to right a tragic wrong?

Camille Gardener 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 draw 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. Fueled by mutual rage, the collective members devise and act out retribution fantasies via precise, anonymous, highly coordinated revenge killings.

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

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Critical Praise

"This electrifying thriller dares us to walk a thin line between justice and bloodlust." - People

"It's gripping, suspenseful, and dark. This is one you want to read first." - Harlan Coben (on the Today Show)

“Dark and daring, The Collective by Alison Gaylin is a revenge thriller with an unexpected twist.” - Popsugar

"Gaylin’s prose, so achingly pure yet electric in its gathering rage, pulls readers so far into the abyss… Even after reading its shattering conclusion, you might be drawn back to the beginning of this blistering novel in search of every last breadcrumb Gaylin has dropped.”
- Los Angeles Times

“Escalating stakes and a tight, twisty plot fuel this timely domestic thriller, which unfolds through a visceral first-person-present narration. Camille’s pain and fury are so palpable they’re contagious… Gaylin delivers a thought-provoking page-turner that grips and gratifies. An all-too-plausible tale of Highsmith-ian vengeance.” - Kirkus Reviews

“[A] gripping psychological thriller from Edgar winner Gaylin… A breathtaking twist will catch readers by surprise. This tale of justice without mercy is a page-turner.”  - Publishers Weekly

"Gaylin imbues THE COLLECTIVE with solid suspense that grows from myriad twists, each of which is a surprise… THE COLLECTIVE careens to a perfectly noir — and totally believable — finale, showcasing Gaylin’s storytelling skills.”
- South Florida Sun Sentinel

“Fans of dark psychological suspense will be unable to put this one down.” - Booklist

"The Collective is quite possibly Alison Gaylin’s best book yet—and that’s saying a lot. The grieving-moms-as-avengers premise is entirely gripping in and of itself, but it’s the underlying emotion and subsequent action that makes reading it an all-consuming, immersive experience. Like anything worthy of thoughtful consideration and debate, this book may make you deeply uncomfortable at times but will ultimately win you over with its bold, beating heart." -

“Gaylin, using a skillful balance of tension and intimacy, pulls us in to consider the implications of using vengeance and vigilantism in seeking justice and to find solace for overwhelming grief.”  - Chronogram Magazine


Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780063083158
  • ISBN 10: 0063083159
  • Imprint: William Morrow
  • On Sale: 11/02/2021
  • Pages: 352
  • List Price:34.99 CAD
  • BISAC1 : FICTION / Thrillers / Suspense
  • BISAC2 : FICTION / Thrillers / Crime
  • BISAC3 : FICTION / Mystery & Detective / Amateur Sleuth

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