Title: The Mask Collectors
Author: Ruvanee Pietersz Vilhauer
Publisher: Little A
Publication Date: 1 June 2019
Format: eBook - PDF
Source: ARC via NetGalley
The alumni of an international boarding school have gathered at a campground in rural New Jersey when a scream breaks the silence of the woods. Classmates are shocked to find journalist Angie Osborne suddenly dead. The medical examiner’s report isn’t what anyone expects. Oddly, the death scene reminds anthropologist Duncan McCloud of a thovile, a Sri Lankan ritual he’s spent years studying.
When Duncan’s new employer, a pharmaceutical giant, sends him overseas under shadowy pretenses, and his wife, Dr. Grace McCloud, starts to receive anonymous warnings to doubt everyone and everything, the threads of a sweeping conspiracy begin to unravel. Risking more than their own lives, Duncan and Grace embark on a treacherous journey through occult ceremonies and their own hidden pasts to discover a secret worth killing for.
The Mask Collectors was a mixed bag for me. On the plus side, the story held my interest and I enjoyed the incorporation of Sri Lankan folk belief, about which I knew nothing prior to starting this book. The pacing, on the whole, was good, and although I guessed some things, a few reveals took me by surprise. On the downside, I would have liked to have seen the folk rituals incorporated more. From the title and blurb, I had expected them to be the main focus, whereas they are really only a side element. There were also some things that felt a little contrived and convenient as the plot progressed. So this was a 3.5 star read for me. I enjoyed it, but I wouldn't rave about it. If you like mysteries with folkloric overtones, give it a try.