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Complicit

Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781398705067

Price: £14.99

ON SALE: 23rd June 2022

Genre: Fiction & Related Items / Crime & Mystery

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‘Powerful’ Harriet Tyce
‘Brave’ Liz Nugent
‘Compulsive’ John Marrs
‘Dazzling’ Chris Whitaker
‘Fearless’ Anna Mazzola
‘Masterful’ Araminta Hall
‘Timely’ TM Logan

You know what it’s like.
A comment here, a closed door there, turning a blind eye to get ahead.

My name is Sarah Lai. You won’t have heard of me. A decade ago I was on the cusp of being a big deal. But that was a long time ago.

Now, instead of working in Hollywood, I teach students about it.

And these are the two most important lessons you need to know about the film industry:

1) Those with the money have all the power.
2) Those with the power get whatever they want.

Ignore these rules and the whole system will crumble.
Stick to the rules and you’ll succeed. But at what cost?

Ask yourself, what would you have done?

What's Inside

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Reviews

Totally compulsive. Truly gripping and unexpected ... an incredible and timely story.
Kirsty Capes
A fearless and brilliant novel about power, ambition and abuse in the film industry and what it means to be a survivor.
Anna Mazzola
This book. Wow. Straight into my books of the year. It made me angry. It made me cry. The prose is razor sharp, the story timely and powerful, and the end ... packed an emotional punch.
Louise Beech
Powerful and compulsive, an era defining novel that's impossible to put down.
John Marrs
A masterful example of the slow burn thriller, highlighting the still all too true fact that often the real terror for women is simply existing in a man's world. Also an ode to the power and beauty of story-telling. I loved it.
Araminta Hall
Bold, brilliant, dazzling and devastating. Winnie M Li writes with pure heart and effortless style, and in Complicit handles the sharpest of stories with such compassion and skill.
Chris Whitaker
A deep dive into the sleazy underbelly of the film industry prior to #MeToo, Complicit is a brave look at the innocents, the predators, their enablers and those who turned a blind eye to sexual harassment, abuse and rape. Winnie M Li weaves a story that is compelling, courageous and brutal in the best possible way.
Liz Nugent
A skilful, engrossing and timely thriller - as well as a deeply unsettling glimpse into the dark heart of Hollywood.
TM Logan
Winnie's skill as a writer is to forge out of a familiar film story one that is beautifully unique. It haunted me when I was away from it. An emotionally complex story, it ripples with foreboding and tension. Utterly compulsive reading.
Sarah Winman
A nuanced and very insightful look at the power dynamics within the film industry that lead to sexual assault, racial inequality, and the ruin of women's careers. I could not put it down.
Julie Cohen
COMPLICIT gives an insider's perspective on the murky, hidden world of the film industry, a bang-up-to-date me-too story that is as poignant as it is shocking. I was completely gripped by it. Winnie M. Li is a unique voice in crime fiction.
Jane Casey
Winnie M. Li's new novel focuses on one of the leading questions of our times: how complicit are we all in cultures of sexual harms and abuse? Never one to shirk difficult topics, Li takes readers on a roller-coster ride through our ethical obligations to other people, and ourselves. A beautifully written and riveting novel.
Professor Joanna Bourke
Complicit is a powerful but cleverly nuanced indictment of abuse of power which should set alarm bells ringing throughout the film industry. It shows how easily people's ambition can blind them to what's happening around them and sends them a clear a message: 'you could be next.' Timely, entirely believable and feverishly readable, Complicit will be huge.
Trevor Wood
Totally intoxicating, COMPLICIT is a heady mix of soul-crushingly devastating but also thrillingly glamorous. If you're into the real behind-the-scenes of Hollywood, I can't recommend this enough. It's the vacation read you NEED to pack.
Laura Jane Williams
Harrowing, powerful, and impossible to forget, COMPLICIT is a novel very much immersed in today's issues and complexities, while also managing to be strikingly intimate and charged with emotion. Winnie M Li explores the dark corners of entrenched power dynamics to shed a light on society as a whole, and she does it masterfully and with precision. A magnificent book.
Alex Segura
Some stories are so important, they can only be told by the right person. Winnie M Li is one such master storyteller, and COMPLICIT is the masterpiece. What a book.
Leye Adenle
A real page turner and definitely a book that made me both squirm and reflect on what it means to be a woman in the film industry. Winnie writes with such detail and authority. I loved Sarah Lai's complex history and seeing the choices she made as a Asian American woman - not only was she a woman in the film business, she was a Chinese diaspora woman and the complexities that come with that. I loved it.
Maisie Chan
So powerful. Will stay with me for a long time.
Charlotte Jacklin
A compulsively readable meditation on power: who wields it, who wants it, and who suffers at the hands of it. The talent, work ethic, and ambitions of an immigrant daughter are no match for an amoral, billionaire film mogul. Or are they? Timely and intelligent, Complicit exposes Tinseltown's dark side and will resonate with any woman who has ever tried to make it to the top.
Jini Reddy
Literally couldn't put this one down ... a really gripping page turner.
Jan Carson
Winnie M Li writes with a precise, skilful hand. In Complicit, she crafts a masterful portrait of unfettered power: the excesses of men who have it and the exploitation of women who do not. Unsettling, intelligent and wholly compulsive, Complicit is a novel for our times but also for the ages.
Kia Abdullah
Complicit is a must read for anyone who's sat in a movie theater, watched an entertainment show, or followed their favorite celebrity on social media. It's a harrowing explanation of how powerful men are able to get away with so much for so long - as seen through the eyes of an unforgettable heroine whose dreams to make movies becomes a nightmare. You'll never look at the film industry the same again.
Kellye Garrett
An excellent, well-crafted book that exposes the depravity that lies beneath the glitz and glamour of the film industry - although its message is equally appropriate to any world in which a blind eye is turned to the abuse of power over the vulnerable.
Rachel Abbott
In this page turning story of one woman's struggle, Li thrusts the reader into the film industry's dark and deep-seated culture of rampant sexism and unbridled male ego...and the terrible cost of staying silent. An utterly compelling read.
Liv Constantine
A sharply written and absorbing dive into a dark and glamorous world. As timely as it is entertaining, this spectacular novel hooked me from the first page. Winnie M Li is a remarkable talent.
Cristina Alger
You know that bit where you finish a novel but you still feel 'in' it? That's where I am right now with Complicit. A really absorbing, insightful dive into the film industry's MeToo movement, publishing this June.
Niamh Hargan
The metoo novel that's going to take the world by storm.
Paul McVeigh
A gripping, nuanced and believable novel about some of the stories behind the MeToo movement.
Libby Page
With slick, addictive writing and highly relatable characters, Complicit is both engrossing and enraging! A thought-provoking blockbuster about the dark side of the Hollywood movie industry.
Allie Reynolds
In Complicit, author Winnie M Li paints a claustrophobic picture of the entangling deceit, wilful blindness, and outright harassment that has gone unchallenged in the film industry for so long. A thought-provoking and heartfelt exposé of the sleazy underbelly of the Hollywood dream.
Vaseem Khan
Beguiling and terrifying, Complicit is an illuminating novel about the struggle to survive as a woman in modern Hollywood and at what cost. A thought-provoking, addictive read - I couldn't put it down.
Stephanie Scott
Winnie M Li gives us an insider view of the intoxicating and corrupt world of the movie industry that often places women in a no-win situation. Her lead character, Sarah Lai, faces both sexism and racism in following her ambition to become a producer. How much of her integrity is she willing to sacrifice? Moving through New York City, the Cannes Film Festival and Hollywood, Complicit is a page turner for our times.
Naomi Hirahara
COMPLICIT is simply brilliant. Beautiful writing, a compelling story, an intriguing structure-I was captivated from the first paragraph to the last. Li pulls back the veil on the glamorous film industry to show its less-than-savory side, yes, but it's the empathetic lead Sarah Lei who makes the novel truly special. Her journey from eager film student to capable producer to wise and remorseful screenwriting teacher blowing the whistle on a former colleague will touch the hearts of anyone who's made choices that they later regret. Like the fallout from the #MeToo movement, this story will resonate for years to come.
JT Ellison
Like John Grisham did with the legal profession in The Firm, Winnie Li's Complicit provides an insider's look at the film industry that is full of suspense.
Peter Swanson
Ingeniously constructed, traversing searing aspects of race, class, gender, Complicit gallops to a surprise finish, toggling back and forth from present to past and back again without losing any of its propulsive momentum. A page-turning read that also makes you think.
Marie Myung-Ok Lee
COMPLICIT by Winnie M Li is one of the best novels about the dark side of Hollywood that I have read. Winnie understands the inner workings of the movie business, but more importantly, she understands the moral complexity and emotional tolls of working in a business that doesn't just tolerate, but actively rewards bad behavior. It's about how your dreams are used against you, and how power seduces, and how quickly moral grayness fades to black.
Jordan Harper
A propulsive page-turner, Winnie M. Li's Complicit is a glittering story of ambition, regret, corruption and ultimately hope. Sarah Lai is an unforgettable protagonist.
Vanessa Hua
A compelling, thought-provoking read about responsibility and guilt. Unsettling but addictive. Brilliant.
Caroline Hulse
A compulsive read - Winnie M Li's powerful and beautiful writing immediately immersed me in the murky world of the film industry and kept me furiously turning the pages. Through her assured storytelling Winnie draws you into the protagonist's world on every level - from the superficial to the emotional - to paint a devastating and timely portrait of the abuse of power within a highly charged and often frightening workplace. I loved it.
Sarah Pearse
This astonishing novel draws on the author's film industry expertise and painful experience to explore questions posed by the ongoing wave of #MeToo revelations. How do such things continue to happen in plain sight? Who are the enablers? And what is the cost of complicity?
Catherine Mayer
Winnie M Li's new novel gives us an insider's view of the film industry's notorious dark side, asking important questions about power and complicity. Complicit is a fiction that is all too real.
Una, Award-winning author of BECOMING UNBECOMING and EVE
Fearless, fascinating, a gripping story of harassment, power and money. Winnie M Li draws in powerful strokes a world of creativity and beauty, the glamour of the silver screen, but also a world of exploitation and cruelty, where women are fodder and men just laugh. A searing dissection of power.
Kate Williams
Complicit is an amazing examination of the film industry-one that could only be written by someone deeply familiar with that world and its players. But the novel is so much more than an exposé. I was captivated by the main character, Sarah Lai, and her struggle to come to terms with her role in a troubled film production. This timely and thrilling book raises tough questions about justice and revenge. Don't miss it.
David Heska Wanbli Weiden, author of Winter Counts
Complicit is immensely powerful, compelling and enraging. A feminist thriller set in the workplace, which feels all too real
Harriet Tyce
A spellbinding novel that transcends the immediacy of its #MeToo backdrop to deliver a broadside against the movie industry and the patriarchal system it embodies, in which sexism, racism and predatory behaviour are not only called out, but celebrated and rewarded... A quietly blistering J'accuse.
The Irish Times
A visceral and timely novel... There is no doubt that Li knows the world she writes about intimately... Li's novel is a way of acknowledging the women whose stories have been heard, and those who haven't.
The Observer
Complicit by Winnie M Li is the first book to explore the #MeToo movement in Hollywood from someone behind the camera... It's a striking look at power dynamics within the film industry from the perspective of producers. It asks the important question of what would you ignore to get ahead? Would you stay silent to protect your career and your dreams? Author Winnie M Li is herself a former film producer and the survivor of a sexual assault. She's an empowering example, really, of a woman who refused to stay silent and wants to encourage other women to do the same, to destabilise the power structures in place that fail to protect women.
Mariella Frostrup, Times Radio
An excellent thriller... grippingly readable and fired by righteous anger.
The Daily Mirror
The all-consuming movie-making world and a powerful, predatory boss are described with such convincing, compelling clarity.
The Times
Sarah's harrowing story reveals how easy it is for someone to compromise their principles in the pursuit of success... A timely & important read.
The Daily Mail
A must-read for anyone who's ever wondered what really goes on behind Hollywood's PR-approved glamour... A timely reminder that we should never lose sight of the #MeToo movement.
Stylist
This left an impact long after reading... You'll have definite feelings about it when you finish it. I inhaled it.
The Belfast Telegraph
A sharp and timely look into the dark heart of Hollywood... [A] rollercoaster read.
Elle
Both a #MeToo thriller and a complex literary achievement that sheds an important light on Hollywood's darkest secrets and brings an essential and underrepresented perspective - that of an Asian-American film producer - to the fore.
CrimeReads
Li skillfully depicts the ways in which powerful people exploit and abuse those trying to get a foothold in the film industry... Intriguing.
Publishers Weekly
Li draws on her experience in the film industry to bring authenticity and raw honesty to her second novel, a timely page-turner that explores the emotional impact of sexual assault.
BookList
Complicit functions as both warning and gossipy good read.
LitReactor
A deliciously dark novel.
Woman and Home
A timely #MeToo thriller.
Bella
Delves into the underbelly of Hollywood, exposing the injustices of the film industry.
Woman's Weekly