Aaaah... Nicci French. If you're a crime aficionado, the very mention of that name will bring a warm glow. Or at least the sure-fire promise of the very best in psychological crime writing, delivered with an elegance and storytelling skill that doesn't preclude intelligent appraisals of human behaviour. The husband-and-wife team of Sean French and Nicci Gerard have been delivering their portmanteau pleasures for so long now that we are possibly inclined to take them for granted. But then along comes a book like Complicit
which reminds us why we pick up a Nicci French novel with such enthusiasm.
Bonnie Graham is standing in a room belonging to a friend. At her feet is a corpse, straddled in a spreading pool of blood. The questions are numerous: who is responsible for the dead body on the floor? What does she, Bonnie, have to do with it? And what is her next course of action? This opening premise gives some idea of just how quickly (and comprehensively) Nicci French is able to transfix the reader. It is this combination of a shocking situation and the ill-advised, often self-destructive actions of the duo's protagonists which the authors pull off in book after book; we may disapprove of what French’s characters do in their extreme situations, but it's impossible not to identify with them. Bonnie is a music teacher, rehearsing through a sweltering summer in London with a band that is scheduled to play at a wedding. Any pleasure the experience might have afforded is to evaporate as bitter internecine divisions within the band make themselves felt, and sexual involvements move in particularly murderous directions. This is typical Nicci French fare -- and admirers will meet need no other recommendation. --Barry Forshaw
--This text refers to the
The tension is unbearable, you will gallop through it at one sitting. --The Daily Mail on Losing You
Psychological suspense thrillers that genuinely thrill. --The Mail on Sunday