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Book Review | The Accomplice by Lisa Lutz

From the publisher: Everyone has the same questions about best friends Owen and Luna: What binds them together so tightly? Why weren’t they ever a couple? And why do people around them keep turning up dead? The Accomplice examines the bonds of shared history, what it costs to break them, and what happens when you start wondering if you ever truly knew the only person who truly knows you.

This book has a hook. I still can’t identify what it is, exactly, but once I started reading I wasn’t going to stop. Luna and Owen have a frankly strange relationship. They are very good friends who make Luna’s husband say that he and Owen’s wife Irene “had a similar sense of being the third wheel in our own marriages.” (p. 157 of the Advance Reader Copy)

Luna and Own have both been on the periphery of more deaths than is normal for a person. How many times is someone questioned by the police over the course of their life? For most people, the answer is zero. Not Luna and Owen. Even the cops think their relationship is not right.

So many secrets. And yet the author makes it believable that the secrets have been kept. I felt like Luna and Owen were two real people – not terribly likable, but well drawn. The plot isn’t spooky or tense, it’s just – interesting. Like listening to great gossip about someone you didn’t much care for in school. The pacing is superb. The narrative flips back and forth in time, and both timelines fascinated me equally.

There are a couple of mysteries, and I guessed about half of one and was completely caught off guard by the other. I congratulate any author who can put all the clues in place and still take me by surprise. I’ve read a lot of psychological thrillers in 2020 and 2021. I’ve enjoyed settling into someone’s fictional problems and forgetting about the real world’s problems for a while. The Accomplice is one of the best I’ve read in the last two years.

I read an advance reader copy of The Accomplice from Netgalley.

It will be published in late January 2022 and will be available in print and as an ebook at the Galesburg Public Library. If you want to try out the author before then, the library owns her Spellman Files series and her other novels.

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