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They were stuck on this remote island, all of them.
Trapped in this show.
No way to stop whatever came next.
No way at all.
Six people arrive on a remote island--contestants in the “reality show of the century,” Dream Prize. The winner will be the person who learns the most facts about the others and gains the most viewer votes. Sounds simple. But the three men and three women soon discover nothing is as expected.
They are alone on the island. Cameras surround them, filming twenty-four hours a day. And their challenge? Discover which of the Seven Deadly Sins each contestant, including themselves, represents.
Turns out each person has a damning secret--one that could ruin his or her life. Those secrets are about to be revealed on live television.
And this is only the beginning of the twists in the game.
Multilayered in plot and rich with meaning, Vain Empires is a strong choice for book clubs. Discussion questions included.
"Collins is a fine writer who knows how to both horrify readers and keep them turning pages." --Publishers Weekly
"A master storyteller." --RT BookReviews
"Collins knows how to write suspenseful page-turners." --BookReporter.com
Collins (Dark Justice) opens this ethics-focused mystery with a diverse assortment of contestants appearing on a new reality show. Sequestered on a private island off the coast of Australia, six strangers vie for the Dream Prize a prize of their own choosing, worth up to $10 million. The producer provides instructions via messages that appear at an appointed time on a computer monitor, the first of which delivers the ominous terms of the game: each of the six contestants harbors a true secret from their past that correlates to one of the seven deadly sins. In order to win, the contestants must link each sin to the appropriate person, including naming their own offenses. Collins cleverly switches perspective as details of the contest and the contestant's lives are teased out. There is a computer engineer, a gregarious radio host, a foundation owner from Malibu, an elegant v-p of a software company, an actress ing nue, and earnest, charmingly sarcastic Gina Corrales, a real estate agent from Pasadena. While the other characters are taken over by the stakes of the game, Gina seems to be the only participant with a modicum of faith. As the dog-eat-dog rules of the game bring out the worst in the contestants, readers will wonder whether true absolution is possible under the gaze of millions of viewers. Readers of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None will be riveted by Collins's incisive take on the values of reality TV culture.