The Collector ~ the audiobook

  • The CollectorAuthor: Nora Roberts
  • Performed by Julia Whelan
  • Released: April, 2014 by Brilliance Audio
  • Category: Murder/Mystery/Romance
  • three-half-stars

As a professional house-sitter and freelance writer, nothing ties Lila Emerson down—not her work, not a home, and definitely not a relationship. She spends her life moving from one job to the next, sometimes crashing at a friend’s Manhattan apartment. And though she can appreciate her clients’ extraordinary homes, their expensive collections, and their adorable pets, Lila has never longed for possessions of her own. Everything she has, including her heart, is portable.

But when she witnesses a possible murder-suicide from her current apartment-sitting job, life as Lila knows it takes a dramatic turn.

Artist Ashton Archer knows his charming, clever, and impulsive brother couldn’t have killed his girlfriend—or taken his own life. His hope of unraveling what happened lies with Lila, the only eyewitness. And even buried in grief, Ash longs to paint the woman whose deep, dark eyes seem to hold endless reserves of strength and a fiery passion.

Chalking up their intense attraction to the heat of the moment, Lila agrees to help Ash in trying to find out who murdered his brother and why. From the penthouses of Manhattan to grand Italian villas, their investigation draws them into a rarefied circle where priceless antiques are bought, sold, gambled away, and stolen, where what you possess is who you are, and where what you desire becomes a deadly obsession….

Lila Emerson, house sitter and YA author, looks after clients homes, their pets and plants.  She loves to people watch and get a view of other people’s lives and her binoculars are never far away. Her present job is an apartment in a high-rise in NYC, the perfect place to indulge her hobby.

I like to watch people, think up stories about them. It’s spying.” She said flatly. “I don’t think of it that way, honestly don’t mean it that way, but it’s spying. It’s just…all those windows are like little worlds.

After a cupcake and wine evening with her best friend and unable to sleep she decides to settle down with her binoculars. What she sees changes her life.

It’s all there, murder, bad guys, mystery and romance but it just didn’t sing for me. I couldn’t really connect with the characters although I did like the idea of having such a large family a spreadsheet was needed to keep everyone in some sort of order.

Ms Roberts is a wonderful writer and paints a vivid picture of places and characters. However, there were so many descriptive passages that didn’t really enhance the depth of the story and the level of tension was lower than expected given the storyline. 

The historical background on the Fabergé Eggs was interesting as was the description of the Italian trip. I do sometimes wonder though, how many books an author can write without them and/or the characters becoming slightly repetitive and stereotypical. 

It was an enjoyable enough listen, more like a cozy mystery than a suspenseful thriller.

Julia Whelan did a great job with the narration.

The book can be purchased from Amazon UK and Amazon US

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