Complicit Paperback – 23 November 2009
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- Publisher : Michael Joseph; 1st edition (23 November 2009)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 376 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0718154940
- ISBN-13 : 978-0718154943
- Dimensions : 15.3 x 2.8 x 23.4 cm
- Customer Reviews:
About the Author
Nicci French is the pseudonym for the writing partnership of journalists Nicci Gerrard and Sean French.
Nicci Gerrard was born in June 1958 in Worcestershire. In the early eighties she taught English Literature in Sheffield, London and Los Angeles, but moved into publishing in 1985 with the launch of Women's Review, a magazine for women on art, literature and female issues.
In 1989 she became acting literary editor at the New Statesman, before moving to the Observer, where she was deputy literary editor for five years, and then a feature writer and executive editor.
It was while she was at the New Statesman that she met Sean French.
Sean French was born in May 1959 in Bristol, to a British father and Swedish mother. In 1981 he won Vogue magazine's Writing Talent Contest, and from 1981 to 1986 he was their theatre critic. During that time he also worked at the Sunday Times as deputy literary editor and television critic, and was the film critic for Marie Claire and deputy editor of New Society.
Sean and Nicci were married in Hackney in October 1990. Their daughters, Hadley and Molly, were born in 1991 and 1993.
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It starts strongly with a dead man on a rug in a flat and two women getting rid of the body but soon we're caught up in a seemingly endless cycle of the Heydon (the dead guy) upsetting all the men and sleeping with all the women in the social group. The glue that keeps the people and the plot together is the temporary formation of a band who've been asked to play at a wedding. It's the interaction between these people that forms the plot.
Some of the things that happen display a poor knowledge of how today's CCTV/PNR society works. It would have taken the police no time at all to track the events of the death, work out when and where it happened.
One of the most fundamental problems with the book is that there's really nobody I could care about. Bonnie (don't be taken in with the cute name) is shallow, selfish and slutty, her friends and contacts are deeply flawed and the dead man is one of the few about whom I'd want to say that the world would almost certainly be better off without him.
I won't stop buying Nicci French books - when they're cheap - but I won't get quite so excited in future.
This one fell easily into that mould, but was a bit disappointing. The characters were rather sketchy, and the "heroine" I found irritating - and not as fully developed as I would like.
The plot was a bit thin too - Bonnie finds the body of her lover and then gets a friend to help dispose of the corpse; but then various complications arise (as they would); mixed in with a very weak story about getting together a band to play at someone's wedding. This was just a device to introduce the man who ends up dead at her feet! Bonnie did not strike me as either a devoted musician or a respected teacher, although she was presented as both. And the man who ended up dead was a bit of a stereotype, you know the sort of thing, free spirit, doesn't get tied down, violent but charming, ho-hum.
Not one of the best books by Nicci French, but OK.