Complicity Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Complicity

Cameron Colley is a writer for an Edinburgh newspaper. He smokes and drinks and takes illegal substances. He is also engrossed in a computer game called Despot. He starts to get tip offs about a serious of murders from several years ago with military connections and thinks he may be onto a scoop. At the same time someone is going around murdering or torturing businessmen with dubious ethical records, a judge and a snuff movie watcher. The police link Cameron to the present day murders and the informant has been framing Cameron. Cameron must think hard about who the murderer could be to get himself out of the predicament.
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The review of this Book prepared by John Marcel

Iain Banks' masterpiece is a complex murder mystery with a sharp real-world feel that sets it apart from genre crime fiction. His use of the present tense sucks the reader in as Cameron Colley, hack journalist, tries to unravel a series of bizarre murders, then, with a jolt, the novel changes to second person ('you') to show the murders in great detail. This is Banks' masterstroke as in doing this he both hides the identity of the murderer & makes us feel complicit in the dreadful acts. It is truly a stunning work of fiction and confirms Iain Banks as without parallel when it comes to contemporary fiction with a deeply black edge.
The review of this Book prepared by Claire Baldwin

Chapter Analysis of Complicity

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 20%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 20%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 50%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   Dry-cynical How difficult to spot villain?    -   Difficult, but some clues given Time/era of story:    -   1980's-1999 What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   70%    -   80% Murder of certain profession?    -   businessmen Misc. Murder Plotlets    -   character killed during/after sexing    -   Proving innocence of very obvious suspect Kind of investigator    -   amateur citizen investigator    -   british mystery (I say!) Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   feelings towards lover Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   journalist Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   British


Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   England/UK

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   very gorey references to deaths/dead bodies and torture Explicit sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   descript of kissing    -   touching of anatomy    -   use of artificial tools    -   actual description of sex    -   descript. of breasts    -   descript. of other female areas    -   descript. of male nudity    -   homosexuals doing their thing    -   rape (yeech!) Unusual forms of death    -   asphyxiation    -   diced    -   flamed    -   biohazard/virus    -   impaled    -   blunt clubbing (like seals)    -   exploded into bits Unusual form of death?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

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