Two years ago, sixteen-year-old Jamie Henry breathed a sigh of relief when a judge sentenced his older sister to juvenile detention for burning down their neighbor’s fancy horse barn. The whole town did. Because Crazy Cate Henry used to be a nice girl. Until she did a lot of bad things. Like drinking. And stealing. And lying. Like playing weird mind games in the woods with other children. Like making sure she always got her way. Or else.
But today Cate got out. And now she’s coming back for Jamie.
Because more than anything, Cate Henry needs her little brother to know the truth about their past. A truth she’s kept hidden for years. A truth she’s not supposed to tell.
Trust nothing and no one as you race toward the explosive conclusion of this gripping psychological thriller from the William C. Morris Award-winning author of Charm & Strange.
(Summary from GoodReads)
Oh my gosh, you guys, Complicit. This is the only Stephanie Kuehn book I’ve ever read, and it varies a lot from what I typically read. While I find this to be a more plot-driven story, I got really attached to the characters as I made my way through this one. Complicit is the type of book that is smart and will keep readers turning the pages late into the night.
Kuehn knows what she is writing about. It’s clear that a lot of careful research went into this story. Given the way this story pans out, it would have been easy to bog the reader down in a lot of small details, but that never happens. Readers learn what’s going on yet the ending of this story still carries a lot of impact.
The ending of this story is one thing that continues to sit with me, only because it feels a bit manipulative. Kuehn gives her story an ending that is meant to pack a major punch, but it also feels realistic. I’m torn, but I think it mostly works, because it fits with the atmosphere of the book, which is nicely drawn throughout the entire story. I also loved what fully fleshed characters Jamie and Cate are.
If you want a quick read that will leave you feeling shocked and opinionated, ready to discuss, definitely pick up Complicit. This would be a fantastic pick for any book club. I’m curious to try out Kuehn’s other stories to see if they have this same kind of feeling.
Disclosure: I read a digital ARC of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.