Review of The Accomplice by Lisa Lutz

Years ago I ripped through most of Lisa Lutz’ Spellman series as if it were a box of chocolates until I caught up and then forgot to get back to the series. Now, over a decade later, I’m back to reading one of her books (and hopefully finish the Spellman series). Did The Accomplice disappoint? Read on to find out.

The Accomplice

Lisa Lutz

January 2, 2022

Ballantine Books


Owen Mann is charming, privileged, and chronically dissatisfied. Luna Grey is secretive, cautious, and pragmatic. Despite their differences, they form a bond the moment they meet in college. Their names soon become indivisible—Owen and Luna, Luna and Owen—and stay that way even after an unexplained death rocks their social circle.

They’re still best friends years later, when Luna finds Owen’s wife brutally murdered. The police investigation sheds light on some long-hidden secrets, but it can’t penetrate the wall of mystery that surrounds Owen. To get to the heart of what happened and why, Luna has to dig up the one secret she’s spent her whole life burying.

The Accomplice brilliantly examines the bonds of shared history, what it costs to break them, and what happens when you start wondering how well you know the one person who truly knows you.

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In college, Owen and Luna become almost inseparable best friends despite what would seem to be obvious personality differences yet they are far closer in personality than would seem on the outside. They remain close platonic friends for years until Owen’s wife is murdered and Luna begins to wonder just how well she knows her best friend in Lisa Lutz’ standalone mystery, The Accomplice.

The Accomplice is a compelling read as it delves into several timelines, the one when Owen and Luna were in college and the current one in which Owen’s wife is murdered. Lisa Lutz is a talented storyteller, who is very good at drawing her reader in and making their curiosity grow with each turn of the page.

The most interesting character for me was Luna. An occurrence in her past defines her and follows her. She feels guilt and accepts her guilt as her cross to bear and lets it dominate her life and actions. She does not easily open herself to relationships with anyone and it is only Owen who seems to have accomplished that, initially. However, frankly, Owen comes across as a one-dimensional character and my feeling on that remains beyond the end of the final page. Maybe I missed something intrinsic to his character that would make him likable.

I loved the team of detectives who look into the murder of Owen’s wife. They are quirky and funny and just the type of detectives that I could see making excellent future protagonists, in a series. (hint, hint)

While I tremendously enjoyed this novel, despite knowing now that the title holds the key to everything, I was equally tremendously disappointed in the ending, which to me felt bleak as it almost declared that some people will never change despite everything/anything/something. I don’t think that reading of the ending was intended. I think it was more a celebration of friendship, or supposed to be.

Also if your trigger is alcohol, be warned. These people drink morning, noon, and night and every hour in between from college through adulthood. How are they even able to resemble functioning human beings? I dunno. More than once I felt sympathetic nausea for them.

All in all, a very good read.

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.



4 out of 5 butterflies

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