Complicity reviewed by Wm. Christman

Book Reviews
Complicity reviewed by Wm. Christman
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Oct 5, 2007, 04:11

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COMPLICITY by Iain Banks; Bantam, 1996

Iain Banks has been working away at it for many, many years now and very rarely turns out a stinker. Starting with the incredibly dark and twisted tale told in The Wasp Factory, Banks has full command of the style that pulls you in a bit at a time and completely stuns with an unexpected ending without being horrific or sappy. Complicity is no different but falls a bit flat as you can fairly figure out who-dunnit about halfway through. Still, Banks's characters all have a quality to them that builds upon their neuroses and quirks and makes them full partners in the story telling. The main character, Cameron Colley, has some interesting habits and past “damage” that lead him into the dark corridors of the book's killer's mind as the bodies drop like last night's perogies. Colley also has some interest in SM and there are a few steam-inducing passages of smut that read much like the killer's escapades, leading the reader to think that Colley is the killer. Fortunately, Banks doesn't stoop to trite story-telling of Sybil-like multiple personality puffery. Much like his past efforts, the ending is thought-provoking and unexpected even though you sort of know who it is. This, as well as the build-up to it, make Complicity an engrossing and ultimately satisfying read.

-Wm. Christman

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