MLA Platinum Award Press Release

Summary and book reviews of Complicit by Stephanie Kuehn

Complicit

by Stephanie Kuehn

Complicit by Stephanie Kuehn X
Complicit by Stephanie Kuehn
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jun 2014, 256 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2016, 256 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Sarah Tomp
Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

Trust nothing and no one as you race toward the explosive conclusion of the gripping psychological thriller Complicit from Stephanie Kuehn, the William C. Morris Award--winning author of Charm & Strange.

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 this one simple truth: She's not the crazy one and never has been.

When reading Complicit, 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.

ONE

My phone is ringing.

It's 3:29.

In the morning.

The phone keeps ringing. Or not ringing really—the Monk song I have programmed is what's playing, and the notes, the beat, sound sort of sad, sort of mournful, against the bleak-black December night. I groan and fumble around in the sheets. I like to be prepared, so I sleep with my phone beneath my pillow just in case someone calls. No one ever does, of course.

Except for now.

More fumbling, but my fingers find the phone at last. I slide it out and hold it in front of my face. My eyes are bleary and my brain slow, but what I'm seeing on the touch screen finally registers:

Unknown caller.

Okay.

I answer.

"Hello?" I say.

Nothing. I hear nothing.

"Who is this?"

No response, but I press the phone closer to my ear. No one speaks, but I hear something. I do. Short feral bursts of noise. Organic. Like a faint sobbing.

Or laughing.

"Hey," I say, a little louder than before. I want to make sure that I'm heard. "I know you're ...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
  1. Is Jamie a sympathetic character? Is Cate?

  2. Why is Jamie so anxious about Cate getting out of juvenile detention? Do you think it was fair of his parents to keep it a secret from him?

  3. Under what circumstances do Jamie's hands start to go numb? What do you think is the significance of this?

  4. What role does memory play in this story? Can you always rely on your memories to be true?

  5. Do you think Jamie has a good relationship with his adoptive parents? Why doesn't Cate?

  6. In what ways does Jamie start to uncover clues about his past? How do they change your perception of him?

  7. What role did poverty play in the circumstances of Jamie and Cate's early childhood?

  8. What does Cate want from Jamie when she comes back? Is ...
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $39 for a year or $12 for 3 months
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Complicit definitely falls into the genre of psychological thriller; there is never any doubt that Jamie is on the edge of madness. The novel feels like an authentic look at the battle with mental illness; one can see what it might be like to lose one's ability to interpret and make sense of the world...continued

Full Review (754 words).

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access, become a member today.

(Reviewed by Sarah Tomp).

Media Reviews

Kirkus
Vivid characterization and Jamie's sharply observed narration lend credibility to the proceedings and divert attention from a few holes in the logic.

Booklist
Starred Review. Kuehn writes with the fleetness of a trained thriller author...Her confidence is what's so invigorating: every page makes a firm, surprising choice, whether you like it or not...Explosive.

School Library Journal
Starred Review. Complicit ensnares readers from the first page with its surprising twists and revelations. Recommend it to fans of psychological thrillers.

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. The prose is as hallucinatory as the madness Jamie seeks to uncover in a novel that's tense and ambiguous from start to finish.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $39 for a year or $12 for 3 months
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

Conversion Disorder

Jamie Henry, the narrator of Complicit is given many diagnoses and explanations for the physiological symptoms he fights on a daily basis. At one point he is told that he has Conversion Disorder which seems to explain many of his troubles, including the paralysis of his hands when facing a stressful situation.

Conversion Disorder is a type of Somatoform Disorder — a mental illness where an individual reveals psychological stress in physical ways. (For related information about Somatization, please refer to Beyond the Book for One Doctor). There is a wide range of severity and frequency within this diagnosis. The symptom could be as simple as a stomach ache or as complex and limiting as complete paralysis. There is no clear ...

This "beyond the book" feature is available to non-members for a limited time. Join today for full access.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $39 for a year or $12 for 3 months
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

More books by Stephanie Kuehn

If you liked Complicit, try these:

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $39 for a year or $12 for 3 months
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: American Dirt
    American Dirt
    by Jeanine Cummins
    Jeanine Cummins' American Dirt hasn't just been positively reviewed by BookBrowse First Impressions ...
  • Book Jacket: In the Dream House
    In the Dream House
    by Carmen Maria Machado
    In the introduction to In the Dream House, Carmen Maria Machado (a National Book Award finalist for ...
  • Book Jacket: Father of Lions
    Father of Lions
    by Louise Callaghan
    Our readers have given high marks to Father of Lions by Louise Callaghan. Out of 21 reviewers, 18 ...
  • Book Jacket
    Girl, Woman, Other
    by Bernardine Evaristo
    As we meet Amma, a 50-something playwright finally experiencing mainstream success in Bernardine ...

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
Today We Go Home
by Kelli Estes

Illuminating and deeply human, Today We Go Home shines a light on the brave military women of the past and present.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Creatures
    by Crissy Van Meter

    Set on the eve of an island wedding, this provocative debut novel exerts a pull as strong as the tides.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Lady Clementine
    by Marie Benedict

    An illuminating look at one of history's most unusual and extraordinary women, Clementine Churchill.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Adventurer's Son

Publishing Soon!
The Adventurer's Son

"A brave and marvelous book. A page-turner that will rip your heart out."
--Jon Krakauer

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

I I A Broke, D F I

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.