The twenty-fifth anniversary edition of a modern classic: 'ingenious, daring and brilliant' - Guardian
n. 1. the fact of being an accomplice, esp. in a criminal act
A few spliffs, a spot of mild S&M, phone through the copy for tomorrow's front page, catch up with the latest from your mystery source - could be big, could be very big - in fact, just a regular day at the office for free-wheeling, substance-abusing Cameron Colley, a fully paid-up Gonzo hack on an Edinburgh newspaper.
The source is pretty thin, but Cameron senses a scoop and checks out a series of bizarre deaths from a few years ago - only to find that the police are checking out a series of bizarre deaths that are happening right now. And Cameron just might know more about it than he'd care to admit ...
Involvement; connection; liability - Complicity is a stunting exploration of the morality of greed, corruption and violence, venturing fearlessly into the darker recesses of human purpose.
In 1984, Banks's first novel, The Wasp Factory, attained cult status in England for its accomplished yet brutal portrait of a serial killer. His newest novel (after Against a Dark Background) carries on that tradition by centering on a series of cruel, if poetically just, killings. The point of view shifts back and forth between that of the unnamed murderer, whose outrages are presented in the second person, and that of an Edinburgh-based journalist, Cameron Colley, who's tracking the killer and whose story is told in the first person. The police think that Colley, who models himself slavishly on ``St. Hunter'' (Hunter S. Thompson)-downing double whiskeys, smoking dope, speaking a gonzo slang and carrying on an S&M affair with a married woman- is the murderer. Certainly, Colley feels a certain admiration for that avenging angel, who tailors his punishments to fit his victims' supposed crimes, e.g., brutally raping a judge who once exhibited leniency to a rapist. Banks's handling of this volatile scenario is extremely graphic, sadistic-and rather obvious, though effective. He's a good enough writer to seduce readers into sharing not only Colley's admiration for the killer but also, through his use of the second person, the killer's relish in the act of murder: complicity, indeed.