The Collector by Anne-Laure Thiéblemont
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
If I could say one thing immediately after finishing The Collector I would say "good grief! where on earth is this going?" I received an early release copy from Le French Book (that arranged for NetGalley to provide me with a copy and I love this publisher). Marion works for an auction house and investigates stolen art. She works closely with the police, so closely that she has a weekly meeting with an investigator that specializes in art theft for the police in Paris, France. Marion has developed close relationships with many people in the art world, with one exception, the person who left her a very large art collection in his will, that is, if she can meet the conditions of the will, adding to her role in the art role as that of a collector.
The Collector has some pretty colorful characters from her mother to her best friend, Chris. The people she runs into in her attempt to meet the conditions of the will run the gamut from friendly and helpful to what appears to be quite evil. No one's motive is apparent. Just when you think someone is on Marion's side it turns out they are against her. There is a huge mystery and we are getting to know the person that left the collection to Marion, her own father, Magni, at the same time as she is learning about him. Just when you hope that he left her this huge windfall it seems that possibly it might have been all a game to him. The only issue I had was that the mystery was rolling along at a nice pace and all of a sudden I felt like the police had the answers and we don't know how they got them. Maybe we will find out in the next book. I would not say it exactly ended in a cliff hanger but there was definitely a huge mystery left and so many ways this can go. Is Marion a good person? Is she a bad person? What happens to the art collection she was left if she met the conditions of the will? Having questions at the end of a book that the reader know is the first in a series is okay, especially when the initial story line has given the reader some closure to the story they were invested in with the current book and The Collector definitely does that and I look forward to seeing where the author goes next!