Monday, October 27, 2014


Title: The Murder Complex
Series: The Murder Complex, #1
Author: Lindsay Cummings
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication Date: June 10, 2014
Genres: YA, Dystopian, Thriller
Reviewed by: Ellen Fritz
Ellen’s rating: 4/5


An action-packed, blood-soaked, futuristic debut thriller set in a world where the murder rate is higher than the birthrate. For fans of Moira Young’s Dust Lands series, La Femme Nikita, and the movie Hanna.

Meadow Woodson, a fifteen-year-old girl who has been trained by her father to fight, to kill, and to survive in any situation, lives with her family on a houseboat in Florida. The state is controlled by The Murder Complex, an organization that tracks the population with precision.

The plot starts to thicken when Meadow meets Zephyr James, who is—although he doesn’t know it—one of the MC’s programmed assassins. Is their meeting a coincidence? Destiny? Or part of a terrifying strategy? And will Zephyr keep Meadow from discovering the haunting truth about her family?


Filled with unexpected plot twists, The Murder Complex is a fast-paced, thrilling read. Set in a cordoned-off Florida, in a dystopian future, this book tells the violent, almost romantic tale, of Meadow Woodson and Zephyr James. It’s amazing that any kind of relationship can even hope to exist in a world where half the population is fighting for survival and the other half is programmed to kill.

This is a quick, action packed and, as stated in the summary, blood soaked, read. In fact, I had a bit of a problem with the amount of murder committed in this book. Despite this being The Murder Complex, hence all about murder and killing, I felt that murder was used out of context as a solution to every single problem.

Although the characters are realistic, they could have been a bit more fleshed out. Meadow Woodson is the kind of female lead I like. She is tough, street wise and self-sufficient, but she does have a heart and will do anything to keep her family safe.

As Zephyr is mind controlled by the Murder Complex from time to time, it is difficult to get a grip on his character. When he isn't in the throws of blood lust, he is depressed and wants to kill himself. The bit of untroubled Zephyr that appears in between, however, seems to be kind and loyal.

What I really loved was the unexpected plot twists and baffling revelations that lurk in the pages of this book. Predictability makes for tedious reading and The Murder Complex is most certainly not boring. At one point I thought that this book was headed in the 'girl in dystopian world incites rebellion' direction. Fortunately, for this book at least, it looks as though that cliché was avoided.

For a quick, thrilling, extremely violent and sometimes touching read, I recommend The Murder Complex.


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Lindsay Cummings is the 20-year-old author of THE MURDER COMPLEX, as well as its sequel, coming 2014 from Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins, and the MG trilogy THE BALANCE KEEPERS, coming Fall 2014 from Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins.

Lindsay deals with chronic fatigue, can’t get enough of her two pesky German Shepherds, wolf cub, and two horses. She's still waiting on her letter from Hogwarts--it was probably just lost in the mail. 

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