Cover Image: The Collector

The Collector

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Member Reviews

Unfortunately I was unable to get engaged in this one. There is an interesting premise and the characters all have a lot going on but for some reason I couldn’t get into it. At 40% I decided that it must in fact be me and not the book so I am packing it in. DNF from me. However!!! That being said this is not a bad book it just didn’t work for me.

I think the story will be intriguing to others and the writing is good. thank you for a copy of this arc in exchange for an honest opinion - 3 stars for fairness!!!
This review will not be posted to goodreads.

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A young boy goes missing after being dropped off at school by his father. The police begin to hunt for him but can hardly find any clues. He's just vanished. They discover his jacket in a frozen lake which has the blood of an ex soldier, who is discovered dead in his flat. Could he have killed himself after disposing of the body? And who is Kiki that the boy had been seen talking to near the school recently or the apple man?

The characters are well developed - mainly following the policeman in charge of the case and a journalist writing about it - and the book keeps moving at a fast pace. It's set in Copenhagen, so for me hit the Nordic Noir style that I enjoy.

There are many twists in the plot but everything hangs together and a few red herrings but when the case is solved it was an unexpected but interesting ending.

I received this book from netgalley in return for a honest review.

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This is the first book I've read by Anne Mette Hancock and it won't be the last. It was a compelling story from start to finish. I lived in Copenhagen for six years and this book took me straight back there. I enjoyed her descriptions of Danish culture and the different areas of Copenhagen.
The characters are flawlessly developed and the book keeps moving at a fast pace. There are so many twists and turns in the plot but everything hangs together perfectly. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can't wait to read the next one.

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A young boy has gone missing and no one knows who took him or why? Heloise Kalden is the journalist that is following the case and she just might have to use her police source to find out what is happening. Erik Schaéfer knows that he can trust Heloise as she is always honest and fair They have become friends over years as they both have looked into the darkness.
The young boy is still missing and all the suspects don't seem to have anything to do with his disappearance. But Shaéfer thinks that the parents have something to so with it. But can he find the proof that he needs?
A good solid read. Good characters. I like Heloise as she is a mess but someone that you want as a friend. She thinks that she is damaged but she underestimated herself. Shaéfer is like an older brother he is tolerate of most people and he never gives up until he finds answers. They make a good team
Thank you Netgalley & the publisher for the ARC copy. This is my voluntary review. I really enjoyed this book

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I absolutely loved this book and could not put it down. It was so compelling and atmospheric. I hadn't read the first book in the series but felt it worked well as a standalone. I will be reading the first book now and can't wait for the next installment

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I have to say that it took me a few chapters to get into this book, but I have had that before with Scandinavian thrillers. The writing style, place names etc take a little getting used to maybe. Also the missing child is quite an emotive issue. I had not read the previous book in the series, but this was fine as a stand alone . However it did mean that I was not familiar with the main characters. Something has happened in Heliose's past and although this was referred to, I don't know what it is though the effects are apparently seen.
As I got into the book, I came to like the characters more. There are several twists and turns in the story and more storylines come to light . The setting is Denmark in winter, in the snow which was atmospheric . The story is fairly long but became a real page turner half way through . I liked the way the detectives explored different avenues of the enquiry . All in all an entertaining read .
Thanks to Net Galley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review

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An enjoyable read. If you know Copenhagen there is an extra dimension in the familiarity. The translation is American and had a few bumps, but I will find the first book having read this one.
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for this copy.

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I must admit that I struggled to get engaged in this book for a good few chapters! Once it got going though I was hooked. Really good ending as well.

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Returning to Copenhagen, having been on a sunny winter’s break, Homicide Detective Erik Scháfer and his team are called into a search for a missing ten-year-old, Lukas. As the investigation proceeds, they discover Lukas is interested in pareidolia, a fixation on seeing faces in random things. Further confusion arises with an apparently unrelated murder of a soldier, an unknown apple man and a man wearing a pilot’s uniform. Danish journalist, Heloise Kaldan is tasked with reporting on the missing boy and yet has her own personal issues to deal with. Another enjoyable Nordic noir with an intriguing end reveal and seemingly unconnected events. An engaging crime series, with nuance and a four and a half star read rating, with hopefully more adventures to come. With thanks to Crooked Lane Books and the author, for an uncorrected advanced review copy for review purposes. As always, the opinions herein are totally my own and freely given.

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My thanks to Swift Press for an eARC via NetGalley of ‘The Collector’ by Anne Mette Hancock.It was originally published in Denmark in 2018 and has been translated from the Danish by Tara Chace. It is currently available in ebook with its U.K. paperback edition due to be published in June 2023.

This is Book 2 in this series featuring journalist Heloise Kaldan and police detective Erik Schäfer.

Like its predecessor, ‘The Corpse Flower’, this is a slow burn character-led crime novel. I feel that Hancock’s combination of journalistic fiction and police procedural works well and reminds me favourably of the Millennium Trilogy.

The plot involves the disappearance of 10-year-old Lukas Bjerre from his Copenhagen school. When Lukas’ blood-flecked jacket is found in the moat at Copenhagen’s Citadel there is DNA evidence that points the police towards a suspect. Yet the case quickly becomes more complicated. Erik Schäfer of the Danish Violent Crimes Unit is all too aware of how important it is to find the boy quickly.

Part of the case involves the discovery that Lucas is obsessed with pareidolia, a phenomenon where people see faces in random things. A photo is discovered on his phone that was posted online shortly before his disappearance showing an old barn door that resembles a face.

Investigative journalist Heloise Kaldan is convinced that she recognizes the barn but is uncertain from where. Could it hold a clue to Lukas’ whereabouts. Without regard to her personal safety, she seeks it out.

It’s great to see a journalist as a friend to a police detective rather than an adversary seeking to undermine their investigation in order to get a scoop.

With ‘The Collector’ Anne Mette Hancock again demonstrates a keen eye for detail, characterisation, and plotting and delivers an engaging work of Nordic Noir.

Book 3 has recently been published in Denmark and I look forward to its English translation in due course.

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When 10-year-old Lukas disappears from his Copenhagen school, police investigators discover that the boy had a peculiar obsession with pareidolia a phenomenon that makes him see faces in random things. A photo on his phone posted just hours before his disappearance shows an old barn door that resembles a face. Journalist Heloise Kaldan thinks she recognizes the barn but from where?

When Luke’s blood-flecked jacket is found in the moat at Copenhagen’s Citadel, DNA evidence points to Thomas Strand, an ex-soldier suffering from severe PTSD. But then Strand turns up dead in his apartment, shot in the head execution style.

What did the last person to see Lukas really witness that morning in the school yard? Was it really Lukas, or an optical illusion? Can you ever truly trust your eyes?

Really enjoyable read totally recommend
Thank you NetGalley and Swift Press
I just reviewed The Collector by Anne Mette Hancock. #TheCollector #NetGalley

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Heloise Kaldan is in the middle of an appointment with her Doctor, Jens Bjerre, when he receives a call from his son's school to say that Lukas hasn't turned up for his after school club. When it becomes clear that actually Lukas didn't attend school at all that day, Erik Schäfer and his partner Lisa Augustin from the Violent Crimes Unit are called in to investigate. According to all of his family, friends and teachers, Lukas is a quiet, intelligent and well-behaved boy so it is Lukas’s obsession with pareidolia (seeing faces and objects in everyday objects) which interests the police. Could some of the images Lukas has recently posted on his social media accounts hold clues to his disappearance, or provide information about any of the people who have been flagged in connected with the case?

The Corpse Flower was one of my 'Top 5' books last year and now, after reading The Collector, the Kaldan and Scháfer Mystery series has cemented itself as one of the best new Scandi Crime series I have read in recent years. In The Corpse Flower, I especially enjoyed the relationship between journalist Heloise Kaldan and Detective Erik Schäfer, and the contrast of their different investigative styles. There was quite a different approach in The Collector. This story focused less on Heloise as a journalist, and gave the perfect opportunity to learn more about her personal life and the effect that the events in the previous book had on her life and relationships.

The Collector is another fantastic example of a Scandi Police Procedural from Anne Mette Hancock, and this investigation actually had some pretty tense and chilling moments. I really enjoyed the seeing the development of the two main characters and I am eagerly awaiting the next book in the series.

Thanks to Swift Press and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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Thank you to Netgalley and the Publisher for the ARC in return for an honest review.

I have to say I was a bit disappointed with this title. It seemed right up my alley but although the plotting and story were excellent I was unsettled by the difference in pace throughout the novel. The characterisations were good, not outstanding but undoubtedly liveable, I couldn't get the sense of being carried along buoyantly and felt like I was swimming against the tide during much of it. This doesn't distract from the huge achievement of writing a book and having it published. It is just personal preference. I'm sure many readers will enjoy it. Sorry about the swimming metaphors!

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Thank you to netgalley for the ARC of this book.

This is the first book I've read by this author and the blurb describes it as dark and funny with a jumble of clues. It's the second in a series, the first being 'the corpse flower' which I haven't read.

I'm a lover of northern European fiction and this book is a good example of this genre. It's multilayered and character driven but I found I had no emotional connection to the main characters whatsoever.

The paradolia seemed to be almost shoehorned into the book to explain the red barn and the title 'the collector' made no sense ~ who was collecting what?

In summation its an book which elicited a very subdued response in me. It neither excited me or made me want to talk about it with others. The writing was good but the story and characterisation let it down.

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This was a a nice easy read and I kept saying 'just one more chapter' meaning I read it quite quickly. The story is about the disappearance of 10-year-old Lukas.

There are lots of red herrings to lead the reader (and the police) down the wring track so when the case was solved it was unexpected.

It wasn't the best thriller I've read but it was a page turner and perfect for cold, dark nights.

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Having lived in Copenhagen for a few years I loved the locations and references, could really visualise the story and movements. I thought premise was good and creepy, but sometimes found this wasn't developed enough and not enough use of tension. I enjoyed the second half more than the first, once I got into the characters, but this might just be because I haven't read the first in the series. Although I thought it was good overall, was left wanting more/a bit deflated because as soon as it started getting good and fast paced, the mystery was solved, so felt it could have been developed more. But an overall enjoyable read and would be interested to see where these characters go.

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"The Collector" is gripping, tense and unpredictable. Anne Mette Hancock presents a range of characters who are inadvertently connected to the disappearance of a young boy, Lukas Bjarre. He is quiet, polite and loved by all. Why would a ten-year-old suddenly vanish? Is his interest in pareidolia an obsession? Leave it to an unlikely duo, Detective Erik Schäfer of the Copenhagen Police and reporter Heloise Kaldan to connect the missing pieces. The pacing of this book is well done, with the first half being a bit slow and the momentum picking up in the second half. While the character of Erik focuses primarily on solving the case, Heloise's character covers personal conflict and realisation. Brilliant is one word I would use to describe the ending. I could have never predicted it, but the final chapter shocked me. The author does an incredible job of creating a sense of suspicion, urgency, despair and connection. I know I will be going back for Book One.
I look forward to reading more books in the series.

Thank you to NetGalley and Swift Press for giving me an ARC. This honest review is left voluntarily.

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I read The Corpse Flower, quickly followed by The Collector. But now realise that you don’t need to have read the first novel to know what’s happening in the second. The author provides enough detail in the second novel and does it so it’s not repetitive of the first.

Both are page turners, easy to read and a slow build up for about 2/3 to 3/4 of the novel and then everything comes together. The psychological drama is well developed and the two protagonists, the homicide detective Erik Schafer and the investigative journalist, Heloise Kaldan are both likeable characters, and their respective stories provide a good balance to the crime story they’re both caught up in. I rated both 5 ⭐️ but enjoyed The Collector more. Look forward to book 3!!

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Kaldan and Schäfer #2

Journalist Heloise Kaldan attends an appointment with Doctor Bjerre when he receives an urgent call concerning his 10-year-old son Lukas who has been missing for the last eight hours. Lukas seems to have disappeared off the face of the earth. Erik Schäfer and his partner Lisa Augustin of the Violent Crimes Unit are sent to Nyholm school where Dr Bjerre has dropped Lukas that morning. The story unfolds via the alternating perspectives of Kaldan and Schäfer.

This is another fascinating cleverly connected and predictable plot with an ending I definitely don’t see coming! One of the most intriguing aspects which does focus the police investigation is Lukas’s obsession with pareidolia which is seeing faces and objects such as in a barn door, one of the last pictures he posted. This is very much a theme, what exactly have people seen? Does Kaldan really recognise the door as she believes? Are the things people have seen real or are they illusions? It mirrors what Schäfer is trying to do in the investigation too when he tries to extract patterns in an ever deepening mystery. There are possible connections to soldiers suffering PTSD and to Afghanistan but how is this connected to Lukas?

The characterisation of the two lead protagonists is excellent. Schäfer is methodical yet intuitive, Heloise struggles with a number of issues but Schäfer really gets her and I like the relationship between them.

The atmosphere the author creates is also very good, Copenhagen is utilised well and you feel as if you are there. You feel the chill too of a very cold winter which highlights the chill of the plot.

However, we do get a lot of superfluous detail which detracts from the excellent plot and it’s not the best translation in the world either with a number of clunky phrasings. I’m not entirely sure why it’s called The Collector either, does it refer to Lukas collection of pareidolia??

Overall though, it is a real page turner despite the above reservations and the short short chapters keep the focus as does the brisk pace. If you like Scandi Noir then this is definitely one for you.

With thanks to NetGalley and especially to Swift Press for the much appreciated arc in return for an honest review.

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This is the second book in a series featuring both Copenhagen police and newspaper reporters and the interaction between them in a challenging case. A young child has disappeared from his school and there are various worrying traces of him for police detective Erik Shafer to follow - and a few blind alleys too. Hot on his heels is his friend and reporter, Eloise Haldan and there is quite a competition as to who will find the child first. The book is a little variable in pacing but the story is engrossing and well told and the ending should be satisfying but left a few too many unanswered questions for this reviewer. This means of course that the next book in series will be eagerly anticipated, so I suppose it’s a clever move!

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