Published by Putnam
Lila Emerson has what she believes is the perfect life; she is a professional house sitter and a writer. By constantly moving and seeing new pieces of all the lives around her, Lila is allowed to dream and put her own context into what she sees. Part of that is her obsession of using binoculars to look in open windows from every house she sits. Lila knows that she has a lively and interesting mind and that the subplots she gives to those she observes isn’t reality. But when she witnesses a murder happen right before her eyes, Lila knows that reality has hit hard. Lila also knows that she must call the police and tell them what she witnessed.
Ashton Archer is part of a huge and extremely dysfunctional family. Ashton is an artist who tries to separate himself from the day to day lives of his parents, steps, siblings and half siblings, and all of their so-called troubles and worries. When Ashton receives a call that his brother has been found dead in an apartment of the woman he was seeing and that she was also found murdered, Ashton drops everything to take the front in finding out what was done and making all of the arrangements. The story of what happened is confusing to Ashton from what he knows about his brother and what his parents have been telling him. When Ashton sees the only witness, it seems like a logical step to talk with her and find out if she can fill in the missing pieces.
Lila and Ashton become an unstoppable team determined to find out just who killed two young people that day and why it appears that Lila is now on the hit list. Lila immerses herself into Ashton’s life and uses all the skills she has gained in her years of mixing with the wealthy families that live and work in the same circle as Ashton’s. As each clue leads them closer to a murderer, the danger also becomes closer until it appears to be a race on what will happen next. They need to find the true murderer and that person’s boss and bring them down before an unfortunate end to Lila and Ashton’s search and hot romance is arranged by those same people. It appears that the love of Ashton’s brother and his girlfriend brought them together and the love that Ashton and Lila discovered along the way might just be the one thing that will help them survive.
A professional house sitter and an artist who make their professions by embracing fantasy and what their minds come up with learn that sometimes the best things happen in reality in The Collector. I wasn’t sure about Lila’s lifestyle at first until I learned just what was behind it and how much of herself she put into each of the people she sits for and their belongings and pets. I could totally understand why Ashton tried to separate himself from his family and their upside down lives. Yet, I knew that nothing was going to stop the two of them once they teamed up to find not only a murderer but who was behind even that person. I wasn’t wrong, but I truly loved all the twists and turns that Ashton and Lila were forced through before they finally had not only the who’s, but the why’s behind the dual murders that brought them together in the first place. I would dearly love to be able to peek into their lives a couple years down the road to see just how they were able to combine them. I bet it would be one interesting lifestyle that was all theirs. The Collector is a perfect mixture of suspense, deadly danger and a passion born of them which blossomed into a lasting love.