Monday, June 20, 2016

Review of Complicit by Stephanie Kuehn

Complicit 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.

4 comments:

  1. All of this author's books are SO messed up--like this one--- and I LOVE it!! The ending of Complicit threw me a little because I kind of saw it coming and I was hoping really hard that I was wrong!! I did NOT want that to happen. But I also kind of like when I finish a book and it makes me feel uncomfortable about it.

    I'm glad you liked this one and I hope more people read it :)

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  3. The book was a very fast read, one sitting type of read. Paced evenly and perfectly to give me the heebie jeebies that I want from my psychological thrillers. One of the best I have read.

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  4. Complicit truly is a remarkable novel and I truly believe that the less readers know about the actual plot beforehand, the better. It is justly an intensely psychological piece of work. Jamie and Cate’s tale develops steadily, carrying readers ever deeper into their world, until the real tale appears not only clear, but inescapable. Fans of psychological thrillers will positively relish this one!

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