Cover Image: The Collector

The Collector

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

This was a fantastic a police procedural set in Denmark, with the great inclusion of the relationship with the detective of an investigative journalist. This is the second in the series and I can definitely see me seeking out more of Anne Mette Hancock's books! A young boy goes missing after being dropped at school, but time isn't in their favour as he hasn't been missed for hours and they start on the backfoot. The story clearly has more strings than just this suspected kidnapping and as the characters unfurl their secrets you can start to see how interconnected events may be.
The characters were very believable, well written and Heloise had a good level of relatability to her. A good scandi noir style read, with a good build up of tension to keep you guessing when you think you may have it figured out. Many themes are contained within the book including PTSD, alcoholism, violence and nationalism which really expand the storylines for the individual characters and the wider story but without overpowering any procedural elements. I think these characters would really pop on a great tv series!

Over and above all these addition qualities which enhance the story, this is fundamentally a police procedural detailing a parent’s worst nightmare. But is the writer’s skill rather than just the horrific plot line that makes this a must read crime thriller.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to Netgalley for allowing me to read this book in return for an honest review. I didn’t realise when I started reading this book that it was the second book in a series but it didn’t take anything away from the story for me. I feel this book can be read as a standalone and fully enjoyed. I found the book to be really interesting and engaging with a brilliant ending. A good suspenseful thriller that I really enjoyed and I will definitely be looking out for the next book in the series. 4 stars.

Was this review helpful?

I found this book hard to get into, much harder than the 'Corpse Flower' which I admit I enjoyed more.
I thought this was an acceptable follow up, and recommend you bear with it as it's compelling once you get past the somewhat....uneven start, I felt.

Was this review helpful?

This book was OK. I struggled to relate to the characters and their decisions. I had some trouble with the translation and think this could be improved. Overall a quick twisty thriller

Was this review helpful?

A young boy disappears from his school and as each day passes police fear for his safety. Detective Schäfer from the Violent Crimes Unit leads the investigation. He understands people

Heloise is a journalist has never dealt with issues from a stressful period in her life. She sees herself as damaged goods and in a relationship where she hasn’t been upfront about her lack of commitment.

As evidence is gathered a suspect known as The Apple Man appears to tick all the boxes. A few unexpected developments reveal nothing is as it seems.

Well crafted with strong characters and great twists in the storyline to keep me interested.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a free digital copy of the book in return for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

Get ready for a heart-pounding journey that will leave you looking over your shoulder with every unexpected development and every shocking revelation.

Was this review helpful?

10 year old Lukas disappears from his school. The police are called in to investiage . Who was the last person to see Lukas, and what did they actually see?

After reading The Corspe Flower, I felt that this one was a much slower read, but I still found myself wanting to pick up and continue. This book kept me guessing and ending I was not expecting at all. It's an entertaining read.

Thank you to Netgalley, Swift Press, and Anne Mette Hancock for an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

The Collector is typical of the Nordic noir genre – chilling, intelligent and wholly captivating. Perfect dialogue, haunting imagery, and difficult topics. A mysterious blurb. It ticks all the crime junky boxes. It makes my heartbeat and my nerves jangle. The cover makes me imagine scenes from some of my favourite scandi dramas. All of this combines to make The Collector a must-read for anyone who loves a good mystery. It will keep you guessing until the very end. Plus, the writing is sharp and engaging.

One sentence is all it took to fall into the pages of the story. The characters are so down to earth, so relatable, people with drink problems, grieving the loss of loved ones, relationship breakdowns, these people could live in your street, your village. Any story that involves kids is going to pull at the heartstrings. Learning about the disappearance of Lukas Bjerre had me forgetting about time constraints and chores, all I cared about was his wellbeing. Their lives are so real that you can almost feel yourself living in their world, and when Lukas Bjerre disappeared, it was impossible to turn away from his story and the suspense of what would happen.

You’d expect nothing to happen to your child after you drop them off at school. It should be the safest environment for them alongside their home. Lukas is waved off by his father and that’s the last time he’s seen. The only time is absence is noticed is at the end of the day. You question how that could happen, the anger that you would feel as a parent would be all consuming.

I’ve read so many missing child stories, but this one leaves me acting as a detective, trying to tie up the loose ends and bring the boy home to his parents. However, the parents aren’t as squeaky clean as they seem. Secrets always sneak out.

As The Collector progresses, it is revealed that Heloise and Detective Schäfer have been chasing a series of clues that seem to be connected in some way. With each new clue, they seem to find themselves one step closer to solving the mystery, only to find themselves back at square one again. My mind was a blank, I didn’t know where this was going, but fear not, the author knows exactly what she’s doing.

The best thing about this story is its characters. They are all unique and complex, with their own motivations and flaws. They evoke a range of emotions in the reader, and their interactions and relationships add depth to the plot. It’s one of the main reasons why the story is so engaging. The author leads you up a dark path, with chaos and destruction.

Was this review helpful?

Thanks to the publishers and netgalley for supplying this book in exchange for a review. This was a chilling read which kept me turning the pages.

Was this review helpful?

After a sunny winter break, Homicide Detective Erik Scháfer and his team return to Copenhagen to investigate the disappearance of ten-year-old Lukas. As they dig deeper, they uncover Lukas' fascination with pareidolia, the perception of faces in random objects. Amidst the search, an unrelated murder of a soldier, an enigmatic apple man, and a man in a pilot's uniform add to the confusion. Journalist Heloise Kaldan, assigned to cover the missing boy, grapples with personal issues. This Nordic noir offers an engaging crime series with a captivating conclusion and seemingly disconnected events. Although enjoyable, the resolution feels sudden, while the exploration of pareidolia could have been more extensive. Overall, a suspenseful psychological mystery, though the first book in the series is preferred.

Was this review helpful?

I loved this. Perfect second book in a series. It wasn't quite as exciting as the first - I felt that it took a little while to really get going, but that didn't really hamper my enjoyment overall.

I think Heloise is such an interesting character, and the dynamic between her and Schafer is so unique and nice.

A great scandi read, looking forward to the next!

Was this review helpful?

3.5 rounded up to 4 because I really enjoyed the atmosphere in the book and the plot twists.

Although I found the plot enthralling and the book is overall really easy to read, I think the characters are not really likeable (I haven't read the first book in the series so I don't know about their stories and traumas but still they're definitely not charming). Besides, I'm pretty sure that the English translation has a wrong and misleading title, which basically deceives the reader. I couldn't find the original title to make some research about the possible meaning of it but both the German and Italian versions feature the word "scar" in the title, and in the plot there is no collector.

Was this review helpful?

This is the first Danish crime book I’ve read and I really enjoyed it.
It kept me interested all the way through the story and at times I didn’t want to put it down.
The storyline had lots of twists and turns with lots of red herrings along the way. Clever twist at the end which I didn’t see coming.
This is second in the Kaldan and Schäfer series and apparently the first book doesn’t necessarily have to be read before reading this one. However, I’m curious to know what happened to Heloise Kaldan in the first story as it’s referred to several times throughout the book. Guess I’ll have to go back and read it to find out.
I look forward to reading more from this author.

Was this review helpful?

EXCERPT: He started walking down towards the car, but halfway down the earthworks he spotted something that made him slow his pace. He scrunched up his eyes and focused on the pedestrian bridge over the moat that surrounded the Citadel. Then he came to a complete stop. There was a figure standing in the middle of the bridge, almost camouflaged by the twilight, a hooded person wearing an orange backpack.
It was the strange, bent-over posture of the figure that made him slow down. But it was the child the person was holding that had made him stop.
A boy he estimated to be eight or nine years old hung limply over the side of the bridge while the person with the backpack held the fabric on the shoulders of the boy's down jacket. The person was yelling, but the wind snatched up the words, punching holes in them, so he couldn't hear what was being said.
He looked over at the car again and saw yet another insistent blink of the headlights. He needed to hurry now, but . . .
He looked down at the bridge again.
Then the figure let go of the boy.

ABOUT 'THE COLLECTOR': A boy has disappeared from his school. Heloise Kaldan heads over there to look into it. At the schoolyard she runs into her close friend Erik Schäfer, the outspoken investigator on this case. The boy, Lukas, doesn't show up, but his phone does. It reveals that Lukas is obsessed with pareidolia: the psychological phenomenon that makes us see faces in random things. One particular photo of a barn door that looks like a face catches their attention. Is this where Lukas is?

Heloise is ordered to drop her current article, a controversial investigation into soldiers with PTSD, to cover the story of the missing boy. But when things that point to the traumatized soldiers appear in Lukas' case, Schäfer will need Heloise's help making heads or tails of this enormous jumble of clues: Who is this "Apple Man" that the school children are talking about? Does Lukas' mother have a problem, or is she just soothing her anxiety with a cognac?

MY THOUGHTS: Anne Mette Hancock begins The Collector with a shocking bang - a young boy is dropped from a bridge by an unidentified person.

The story contains some interesting characters. Heloise sees herself as 'damaged goods' and so largely isolates herself from any sort of meaningful relationship, although she does have a soft spot for her friend Greta's eight year old daughter, Lulu. Detective Erik Schäfer is dedicated to his job, but not above dreaming of leaving the long dark Danish winters to live in the sun. Missing child Lukas has hidden depths. Everyone describes him as sensitive and happy, but there's more going on behind this facade than anyone realises.

The story is complex without being confusing and has quite a large cast of characters. At times it was hard to comprehend what some of the threads had to do with the main storyline, but in the end everything ties together. There are plenty of twists and I never had any idea who was responsible for Lukas' disappearance until it was revealed. I had focused my suspicions on someone else entirely!

The ending is brilliant!

Although The Collector is the second book in a series featuring investigative reporter Heloise Kaldan and Detective Erik Schäfer, it is easily read as a stand-alone.

I wanted a little more suspense than I got, but I get the feeling that something may well have been lost in translation, as so often happens. I am intrigued enough, however, to go in search of the first book featuring these friends, The Corpse Flower.


#TheCollector #NetGalley

I: @annemette.hancock @_swiftpress

T: @hancock_mette @SwiftPress

#contemporaryfiction #crime #detectivefiction #mystery #nordicnoir #policeprocedural

THE AUTHOR: Anne Mette Hancock is a bestselling mystery fiction author from Copenhagen, Denmark that is best known for the “Kaldan and Schafer Mystery” sereis of novels.

Anne was born in Grasten, a small town in Denmark but over the years she has lived in both France and the United States. In her young adult years, she went to Berlingske and Roskilde University where she studied journalism and history. Anne Mette makes her home in Copenhagen, where she lives with her two children.
She always wanted to become an author and made her debut in 2017.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Swift Press via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of The Collector by Anne Mette Hancock for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Was this review helpful?

This is the second in a series, but, I hadn’t read the first and at no time felt this to be detrimental to the enjoyment. It’s also a Scandi noir and therefore has a certain writing style that can feel stilted at times.
It’s a decent read; a young boy goes missing and the storyline follows both the angle from a police perspective and that of a team of journalists.

Overall, a decent 3* Good Read for those who enjoy a thrilling Scandi noir.

Thanks to NetGalley and Swift Press for the opportunity to preview.

Was this review helpful?

After reading her first book The Corpse Flower I could not wait to start reading The Collector. I was really hoping for more of the same unfortunately, for me it did not deliver. It was so slow and eventually it did get better but it was hard going. Really hope her next book is better.
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC in return for giving an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

I just didn’t get on with this book at all. I felt the writing style just wasn’t it for me, and the storyline felt dull. I also didn’t like the racism and the weird homophobic/transphobic/body shaming bits in there. Wasn’t the book for me.

Was this review helpful?

I found it took me a few chapters to get into the book, no fault of the author just to busy. Once I was able to read without interruption I really found the storyline intriguing, the plot good and the ending great. Excellent read.

Was this review helpful?

Considering I hadn't read the first book in the series it didn't matter at all. I found I could pick up the story regardless.
I found the characters engaging and as the story developed I invested in them. I'm not sure why the title is the collecter though? I would recommend this to friends regardless.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you Netgalley and Swift Press for an advance copy of The Collector for me to read and review.

The story is about the disappearance of 10 year old Lukas. The characters and descriptions were well written. There are plenty of twists and turns within the story. The ending will surprise you. No spoilers here but if you are looking for a thriller, then you should read this.

Was this review helpful?