If you read my review on when I listened to this the first time (review is here, by the way), I wasn't that thrilled by it so when all of us taking part of the #HDMReadalong decided to include this, I thought it might be interesting to go back and see if it was better the second time round!
The Collectors is set within the world of His Dark Materials and, at the same time, not. And because of this, it's hard to figure out whether I like this or not.
On one hand, I can't help but think Philip Pullman wrote this and then, halfway through, decided to include the elements of this. But, at the same time, the elements he used with hinted at and wasn't in your face, something I really liked on this second listen.
I think the problem is that when this audiobook (and now, eNovella) was released, it was heavily hinted that this would give a look at Mrs Coulter's life and it doesn't do. It hints at a character very similar to her (and it could be her), but it is never confirmed. It's hinted at.
It still has the strong feeling of Susan Hill's The Man In The Picture. It is a nice short story and a nice-ish addition to the His Dark Materials world. Might not be an "essential" read for fans, but it will take a few rereads/relistens before I warmed to it, but am glad I relistened to it!