You always think you’re doing the right thing, keeping somebody’s secret.
For most of us, it just feels like the honorable thing. “She told me, not you,” you think.
“It’s not my story to tell.”
“If they wanted you to know, you’d know.”
And, for most of us, that’s about as far as it goes. Because, really — what’s the likelihood keeping a secret changes the course of someone else’s life?
All that said, secret keeping means that context and perspective for at least one someone — the person from whom the truth or the facts is being kept — is altered, sometimes with a disastrous impact. And it’s in this possibility that Lisa Lutz crafts her latest thriller, “The Accomplice.“
Owen and Luna are for all intents and purposes, lifelong friends. Having met in college, they form a fast and hard bond that skirts romanticism, but is too far entrenched in friendship to take that turn. Luna has a secret that, over the course of time, she realizes isn’t too much of one when at least one person confronts her with the promise they will not share the information with anyone else.
And from that moment, Lutz’s novel is a fast-moving-yet-slow-roll of one secret after another as she details the pair’s friendship for the next 15 years. Readers are treated to a back and forth from the early 2000s to “present day” 2019, when tragedy strikes again and once dormant secrets are joined by an equally juicy fresh set, putting Owen and Luna on a collision course with the equally tragic truth.
I really really want this to hit Netflix for no other reason than to enjoy the simmering sexual tension not just between Owen and Luna and Irene and Sam and Luna and Griff and Casey and Mason but also between Noah and Margot, the police detectives trying to solve the whodunit.
And if you love fiction for the family dysfunction, Lutz delivers with whacky parents all around, including Tom and Vera, Owen and Griff’s parents, Luna’s mom Belinda and Irene’s mother Chantal. Whoo boy!
Full disclosure, I’ve never read any of Lutz’s Spellman series — I’m a big fan of her standalone novels though — like Luna in “The Accomplice,” I enjoy that Lutz leans hard into flawed but strong female protagonists and doesn’t turn them into caricatures of themselves, waiting for a man to save the day.
And who doesn’t appreciate an author who includes a “Congrats! You made it to 2022!” note in her acknowledgements, pointing out she was writing the novel amidst the pandemic, which made me wonder if that was the reason all the characters are drinking like fish from start to finish. We all have our coping mechanisms, and the crew in this book definitely appreciate their brown liquor.
If you are looking for an easy-to-engage-with modern day mystery with no clear saint and lots of clear sinners, “The Accomplice” is right up your alley.