The Moment Collector by Jodi Lynn Anderson

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The Moment Collector by Jodi Lynn Anderson

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Category: Teens
Rating: 3/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Summary: Ghost story, romance and murder mystery combined. Although the book has an awful lot going on, it feels curiously static. The love triangle arc felt very successful, the murder mystery less so and so we have an enjoyable, but not entirely satisfying, read.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 256 Date: August 2014
Publisher: Orchard
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 1408330466

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Maggie's family move to Gill Creek from the city, in an effort to downsize. Maggie is worried how she will get on in this quiet country backwater but she soon makes a new friend in Pauline. Pauline is unpredictable and eccentric and a complete foil to Maggie's cautious, reserved ways. There's Liam too, the boy who burns with an unrequited love for Pauline. All three are being watched by the ghost who inhabits Maggie's new home. She doesn't understand why, but this ghost is irresistibly drawn to these three adolescents on the cusp of adulthood.

But the ghost isn't the only mystery in Gill Creek. A serial killer is murdering young women. Has the ghost been sent to keep Maggie, Liam and Pauline safe? Or is it there for another purpose entirely?

The Moment Collector is a book of ups and downs. It's billed as a murder mystery and ghost story combined, but the real focus of the book is romantic - this is the story of a love triangle. I do find it a bit irritating when the blurb describes one book but I read another. Ho hum.

The love triangle is done extremely well. It felt real and reflected the intensity and changeability of adolescent emotions. You know how it's all going to pan out but it really draws you in. You feel the intensity of attraction and the devastation of rejection. And the unpleasant itch of jealousy. Anderson is a fabulous writer, too. Her prose flows beautifully and it's tremendously intense and sensuous. From a technical point of view, The Moment Collector is a pleasure to read.

On the downside, the mystery arc is entirely unsatisfactory. Girls go missing. They're found dead. The police arrest the wrong man. You know, it's all happening but it feels curiously static. Such is Anderson's concentration on her love triangle, it's as though she forgot to make her murder mystery anything other than a background flavour. But mysteries need tension. They need menace. And if they don't have these things, readers won't be mystified. Half the time, while reading, I forgot there even was a murderer on the loose. And I certainly wasn't spending any time wondering who it was.

The ghost story arc falls between two stools. Again, it takes a back seat to the romance and so isn't prominent enough to make an impact. On the other hand, the eventual reveal is very well handled.

I can't in all conscience rate such an uneven book above three stars. However, this does seem unkind to a writer of Anderson's quality. All I can say is that Anderson is great but The Moment Collector is less so. Sorry.

If you enjoy a good ghost story, you could look at The Hunting Ground by Cliff McNish or Buried Thunder by Tim Bowler. We also enjoyed Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson.

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Buy The Moment Collector by Jodi Lynn Anderson at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Moment Collector by Jodi Lynn Anderson at


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