Review: Lindsay Cummings’ “The Murder Complex” (The Murder Complex #1)

13576132Title: The Murder Complex (The Murder Complex #)

Author: Lindsay Cummings

Publisher: Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins

Publication Date: June 10, 2014

Rating: ⭐





I remember the hype this book garnered pre-publishing. A bloody, survivalist futuristic thriller — I was all for it.  I quickly added it to my Want-to-Read shelf on Goodreads, but somehow I kept pushing in down my priority list.

Now, I see why my gut told me to hold off.

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?


The Murder Complex is the problematic love child of every other YA dystopia.

“Kill or be killed.”

That is the running idea backing The Murder Complex. Set in a futuristic Florida where murder is used to control a burgeoning population, TMC tried to be unique and edgy, but only ended up being a confused, hyped-up mess.

This book has a lot of problems, starting with one of the most basic part of any story — worldbuilding.

TMC gives up bits and pieces of its world thru the narrative of both main characters, Meadow and Zephyr. In hindsight, this could have worked upping up the intrigue factor and pushing any reader to continue turning the page if only to find out the what, why and how of the protagonists’ world.

This method, however, fails to work for the author and this book. Instead of setting up a fascinating world, the scattering of information necessary for worldbuilding only created a disjointed and incohesive- sometimes outright confusing – telling of things.

Another major problem I had with this book were the characters. They were both unrelatable and unbelievable, especially the female MC, Meadow. She was written as this badass teen-aged ass kicker trained by her father to kill. Strong, mentally tough, always succeeds, and, if her male counterpart Zephyr is to be believed, beautiful. In short, she’s an impossible character, and I just couldn’t find it in myself to care for her even after I finished reading.

There are a lot more, but I won’t go over the rest. Overall, The Murder Complex disappointed. From the worldbuilding to its characters down to the romance, TMC is so fraught with problems that, sadly, I cannot recommend it.