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Debra Hamel is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.


Books by Debra Hamel:

THE BATTLE OF ARGINUSAE :
VICTORY AT SEA AND ITS TRAGIC AFTERMATH IN THE FINAL YEARS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


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KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
A TRUE CRIME STORY
FROM ANCIENT ATHENS
By Debra Hamel


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READING HERODOTUS:
A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH THE WILD BOARS, DANCING SUITORS, AND CRAZY TYRANTS OF THE HISTORY
By Debra Hamel


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THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMS:
UNPACKING AN ANCIENT MYSTERY
By Debra Hamel


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TRYING NEAIRA:
THE TRUE STORY OF A COURTESAN'S SCANDALOUS LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
By Debra Hamel


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SOCRATES AT WAR:
THE MILITARY HEROICS OF AN ICONIC INTELLECTUAL
By Debra Hamel


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ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
THE LIBERATION OF THEBES AND OTHER ACTS OF HEROIC TRANSVESTISM
By Debra Hamel


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IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
FIVE HUNDRED 1ST LINES IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
By Debra Hamel


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PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
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Baldacci, David: The Collectors

  Amazon  

4 stars

In his twelfth novel David Baldacci weaves a complex plot involving assassinations, rare books, con artists, and high-stakes gambling. The story is told on three fronts. Roger Seagraves is an assassin, trained by the CIA, who's no longer working with the best interests of the government in mind. Annabelle Conroy is a formidable con artist for whom sleight of hand and deception are second nature. And "Oliver Stone" is a former CIA guy turned leader of a group of eccentrics, the "Camel Club," who act as an informal government watchdog group. The three threads of Baldacci's story eventually come together. Annabelle, fresh off of an unusually lucrative "long con," finds herself drawn into the Camel Club's current case.

Baldacci's story is a bit uneven, but mostly very entertaining. The hyper-competence of both Seagraves and Annabelle is fun to watch. The story is complex but told well, so that it's not hard to follow once you've digested the large number of characters that are thrown into the mix at the beginning of the book. The Collectors is a sequel to Baldacci's 2005 novel The Camel Club. I did not read the earlier book. (Indeed, I was not aware when I started it that The Collectors was a sequel, because the fact isn't mentioned on the jacket copy of my edition.) I did feel, reading The Collectors, that the background and raison d'ĂȘtre of the Camel Club were insufficiently explained, though following the book's storyline was not difficult for that reason. The other problem I had with the book is also related to the fact that The Collectors is part of series: while two of the three storylines in the book are concluded at the book's end, it's clear that there's more to come for Annabelle and the victim of her long con. This isn't a problem if you're reading the books in a series, but if you read The Collectors as a stand-alone novel you may find yourself disappointed at the lack of closure.

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