From critically acclaimed author Paul Griner comes Collectors, a novel about one woman’s risky fascination with a handsome, enigmatic man. Jean Duprez, an ad agency art director who specializes in effectual but unnerving concepts for her clients, meets the handsome and mysterious Steven Cain at a family wedding. Despite Cain’s marked indifference to her and his unsettling personal history, Jean finds herself drawn to him, confiding her own indiscretions in him despite their having just met. As their liaison continues, it becomes a mirror for the collecting process as well: how goods are bought and sold, who determines their worth, and most importantly, the tense, complicated bargaining between buyer and seller. What is never quite clear is whether Jean is the innocent prey of a dangerous lothario or if she’s deliberately put herself in harm’s way.
In the masterful hands of Paul Griner, Collectors becomes not just a novel about what one woman will risk for love or something like it, but a probing examination of the intricacies of relationship power dynamics, and how they are never quite what they seem.
Despite the novel’s brevity, Griner doesn’t rush the characterization, and he courageously presents [the protagonist] as complicit in her situation. He also skillfully fosters a disturbing sense of dread from beginning to end, and readers will enjoy piecing together characters’ motives and actions. This novel straddles the literary and thriller genres very well, and readers in both camps should devour it.
[Griner’s] spare prose convincingly portrays the process by which an intelligent, independent woman becomes the victim of an obsessed predator or perhaps of her own bent toward self-destruction.