A reclusive war hero, The Collector, confronts his past and perhaps his most difficult challenge when faced with armed thieves who intend to steal his collection of luxury watches.
Jim Robbins, wounded while fighting the Germans in North Africa in 1943, sets out to foil the burglary with a pair of small friends and fellow veterans. Their resistance to the thieves, however, puts their lives in danger.
Along the way, The Collector learns new lessons about friendship, loyalty, personal qualities that matter, truth and the price of a life of isolation.
FROM THE BOOK: He’d noticed them before—but always from a distance, which wasn’t easy for him to estimate, having lost most of his depth perception.
He had hoped for children himself. Watching the boy and girl brought back memories of his childhood and the migrant pickers’ kids with whom he romped so happily, so innocently in his father’s orchard. But for Jim Robbins nostalgia always ended on Hill 302 where any chance of his attracting a wife and having those children vanished in a hail of shrapnel ...
But these are children. Small children. Curious children. He wonders if they, too, will think him freakish. Was that why they’re curious? They want a closer look at the freak? ...
FROM THE BOOK: “You know a guy name of Jim Robbins?”
Mac, startled at the stranger’s abrupt question, turned his head toward Angie and paused.
“He is,” Angie replied.
The mobster, looking straight at Mac, pulled the left side of his jacket aside to show the butt of a .45 tucked into his pants.
Before Angie could close his jacket, Mac swung his left arm across his throat. The blow sent Angie flying off his stool, his hands grasping his throat as he struggled for air. The bartender pulled a sawed-off .12 gauge from behind the bar and racked it. Mac straddled Angie and grabbed the .45 out of his pants, ejected the chambered round, extracted the clip, which he tossed to the bartender and put the piece on the bar.
“I said, who’s asking,” Mac repeated.
“F..k, man, no call for that,” Angie whined through his gasps. “Just a simple question.”
“No, it wasn’t. Your manners need changing.’