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3.28  ·  Rating Details ·  212 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
A serial killer with a penchant for severed hands. A watch that runs backward and forward – at the same time. An Eastern European gangster known only as Rumplestiltskin. The Nazi invasion of Prague, Soviet-era Czech secret police, 16th century alchemy and black magic – mild-mannered American Lee Holloway never thought any of these would intrude upon his ordinary life.

But t
Paperback, 272 pages
Published April 16th 2012 by Soft Skull Press (first published April 1st 2012)
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Apr 16, 2012 Mary rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
This was a compulsively readable story that takes you down some interesting rabbit trails. The plot has many threads, but this is the type of book that will take a couple of readings to pick up on some of the more subtle clues. The end result was a book that has an ending that hits you between the eyes and you wonder what just happened.

Great story for those enjoying a good mystery.

Reader received a complimentary copy from Good Reads First Reads.
Dec 21, 2016 Stacia rated it liked it
Shelves: europe, 2016
Maybe my brain needs to be sharper or I need to pay better attention when reading, but I may need someone to explain it to me (just like I felt after watching the movie Memento years ago). Lol. I'm mostly on track, I think, but I'm also a bit confused.

I'm ok with the fantastical, the strange, the unexpected, things being off or different. But this one left me more scratching my head (like Memento) rather than in love with the story & the unclear ending (like Inception). And there were defini
Apr 02, 2013 Delphia rated it it was amazing
I picked this out at my local library and it had to be fate. Complication centers around Lee Holloway Jr. who is flies to Prague after finding a letter in his deceased father's desk concerning the disappearance of his brother Paul. Entwined with real history, I was unable to put it down. Biblical serial killers, flashbacks to momentous times in history, using letters and reports, and a watch. This book has it all. The author lives in the same city and I would love to have coffee with him.
Isaac Adamson starts his latest book off with a refresher course in the definition of the word "complication', which also happens to be the title of the book. It is also a guidepost for the reader, for in this novel, set mostly in Prague, in various points of time, every single definition comes into play.

The main story line has Lee Holloway, a rather unassuming fellow, who, when cleaning out the detritus of his father's estate, finds a letter which indicates that the disappearance of Lee's young
Tim Hicks
Nov 12, 2013 Tim Hicks rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, mystery
I read a lot of science fiction and fantasy, so I am comfortable away from everyday reality. I didn't worry about Lee's idiocy, which starts early with flying to Prague empty-handed. I didn't scoff at Vera sitting in a coffee shop every day for six months. I was patient when this book posited a magic clock, and things happened that didn't make sense. I sat through the travelogue on Prague, which I'm sure will be useful because I hope to visit there soon. I waded through the mystical handwaving a ...more
May 03, 2012 Kerri-Anne rated it liked it
I think it goes without saying that Complication is, well complicated. Still, it wasn't overly so that it was immpossible to follow. It had a smoothe start and I found myself drawn in by the main character. Lee Holloway seemed like your average guy who followed a trail left by his deceased brother and ends up way in over his head. Still he has a determination about him that makes him intruiging. While investigating the true circumstances of his brother's death, he tends to make decisions that se ...more
Apr 28, 2012 Denise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another well-written novel from Isaac Adamson but if you're expecting Billy Chaka, don't. Complication is a whole new direction. Somewhat darker and with more edge-of-your-seat tension, this book takes you on a frenetic roller coaster ride through Prague (and time via backstory interspersions) with quite the twist as it winds down. I enjoyed reading this and look forward to Mr. Adamson's next novel, wherever it takes me.
Erin Shiba
May 25, 2012 Erin Shiba rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
i am easily charmed by eastern european names. but beyond that, this was a well-written, original tale with just enough intrigue and potential for the supernatural that i devoured it in a matter of days. i've never read isaac adamson before, but i'll certainly be picking him up in the future. a reintroduction to the world of mystery and detectives? probably yes.
Jul 08, 2016 Rage rated it liked it
there are many things going on in this story. Lee's trying to figure out what happened to his brother, Paul, who disappeared in Prague. he takes a flight to Prague with no luggage and discovers that the woman who invited him is a mystery wrapped in an enigma shaped like an attractive, very slender and brittle bohemian (guess where their relationship goes). when she doesn't have the answers Lee was expecting, instead of leaving, he ends up entangled with a weird ex-police officer who cusses a lot ...more
Jun 25, 2012 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adventure
Complication was a book I only picked up because it was set in Prague and having been to that magical city, I had to get my hands on it. And what a book! Such a ride that kept you guessing from start to finish.

It starts with Lee Holloway Jr, an american who finds a mysterious letter amoung his dead fathers things. The writer claims to have known about the death of his brother, Paul, who died under mysterious circumstances in Prague.

Lee takes a plane and finds himself right in the middle of a cu
Jun 24, 2012 Akeiisa rated it liked it
Shelves: horror-thriller
Just finished reading this and still reeling from all the twists and turns that kept me guessing right to the very end. Lee, an American investigating the mysterious death of his brother, wanders through Prague meeting people who all seem to be hiding something. Adamson does a nice job of building tension and setting the scene, so the reader feels just as lost as Lee and uncertain about who to trust or believe. The Complication is an thrilling trip down the rabbit hole, that may need to be revis ...more
Mar 15, 2012 Julia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011
Isaac Adamson is about to blow your mind with this one. This is the kind of book you finish and then have to start again, just to go over all those moments where hints might have been dropped without your even knowing it. Compulsively readable, even when you feel like you're not entirely sure what's happening.
Apr 24, 2012 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book which takes place in Prague. It has elements of the occult, history, archaelogy, suspense, and mystery. It keeps you guessing right up until the end.
Apr 10, 2013 Debbie rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, fiction
it was ok - big twist at the end but there are so many gaps in the story that bugged me..
There aren't many books I reread, want to keep copies around gathering dust on the shelves, lend out to friends, or wish I'd bought in hardback so I can do all these things... Complication is one of those books! I can't really tell you about the story or it will spoil the book for you, but I can tell you about the writing- full of risks and challenges, Adamson left the comfort of his previous world (and style) behind for a new voice and the writing in Complication is rock star quality. You may n ...more
Aug 22, 2013 Anastasia rated it did not like it
Complication is a book about a watch called the Rudolf Complication and about a lot of actual complications. After Lee's father dies he finds out that his brother who died five years ago in Prague may have been murdered. He flies to Prague to find out what happened. During his search people keep dying around him and he thinks he might be next.

I couldn't even finish it. It was confusing and not very interesting. It sounds like it would be, but it really really isn't. I really tried hard to keep r
Oct 09, 2012 Carol rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
A psychological thriller set in present-day Prague is blended with tales of a Communist era interrogation, a Jewish antique dealer planning his escape from Prague on the eve of the Nazi invasion, a serial killer, a gangster known as Rumpelstiltskin, the alchemists Edward Kelley, and a legendary watch purported to grant eternal life. Lee Holloway travels to Prague to learn the truth behind his brother’s mysterious death there five years earlier, and soon his own life is in danger. Fascinating, qu ...more
Oct 21, 2013 Steph rated it liked it
3.5. I really did like this story. History, historical figures of controversy, mystery, and psychological thriller all tied together. Yet I wanted more, the ending makes since I guess. It doesnt paint a real clear picture, but I dont think it was meant to either. This is what I refer to as a 'smart' book, meaning you have to already know certain things referred to in this story or you have to be willing to research them as your reading, and you also have to be able to catch the subtle inferences ...more
This story is incredible! Set in Prague, the author uses a single,dominant thread of evil as he skillfully weaves a complex tapestry of greed, depravity, loss, hope and redemption coloured with the nuances of the relationships between flawed, damaged and broken people as their lives are influenced by the existence of a Da Vince-like mechanical device. The last short chapter was a true sucker punch! I will be very surprised if this novel is not eventually used as part of a university Literature s ...more
Christine Broiles
Aug 30, 2013 Christine Broiles rated it did not like it
The setting was good and interesting, as was the history. However, none of the back stories linked up to create a full tale. I like the surprise ending, but, as was much of the graphic violence, I felt it was gratuitous. I finished it not knowing the end was coming (ebook) and thought maybe I'd missed something. Clearly it wasn't ending, since there was no tie up of the other stories. It was like one story ended, but 2 or 3 others didn't.
Janet Martin
Apr 22, 2013 Janet Martin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating bit of work, but just too convoluted for 5 stars. To get that rating, one must really fall in love with the characters, and too much jumping around in time or space prevents the reader from close identification, even though it was fairly well done in this case. Lovely descriptions of Prague. The surprise ending just didn't do it for me!
Apr 23, 2012 Kristen marked it as to-read
So far this book is fine. It reads pretty well, in that I'm not bored while I'm reading it. I do not care about any of the characters, though, and I'm not thinking about the story when I'm not reading it. It's purported to be a good mystery and to have an interesting ending, so I'll probably stick it out. (reviewed at 25%)
Oct 04, 2012 Auggy rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, 2015
I've been meaning to read this book for quite a while now and I'm glad I finally did. It didn't take me long to get through - just a week or so of a little nightly reading before bed - because it was both easy to read and engrossingly twisty-turny. I thought the end was going to leave too much unresolved, but it didn't and I'm really tickled with how it turned out. Thumbs up.
Joyce McKune
Wasn't sure if I'd be able to finish this book. It was so complicated, confusing. I would not go out of my way to read another by this author. Lee Holloway found a letter when going through his dad's desk after his death. It was from a woman in the Czech Republic who said she had information about how his brother, Paul had died 5 years earlier.
Paula Lyle
Jul 05, 2013 Paula Lyle rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
I really liked this book a lot. It's dark, twisty, varied texts keep things moving, a very fun read. And then the end is so implausible and ridiculous that I had to take away a star. Oh well, up until then it's great.
Apr 16, 2013 Michele rated it it was ok
Well I liked the parts with lee as protagonist, but found the other pieces of the puzzle off-putting. When the library took back my ebook with only 20 pages left to go, I didn't bother braking it out again to finish. I realized I didn't care enough to go to the trouble.
Apr 18, 2012 Cynda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Drama, suspense, action, intrigue, horror, and thrills! This book has it all. Unique characters appear in a plot that turns forward and backward in a medieval setting revealing clues to a mystery that engages and challenges the reader. Can you figure out the surprise ending? Read it and find out.
Oct 11, 2013 Eush rated it it was ok
I only read this because I remember enjoying the Billy Chaka books back in high school but couldn't find them so settled for this. The twist at the end felt cheap but makes sense in a weird half-assed way.
Jan 10, 2014 Anne rated it liked it
Shelves: psycho-thriller
While each chapter was fun, few of them came together to make a cohesive whole. It reads like the writer was on an acid trip when he wrote it--disjointed, illogical but exciting. The ending was predictable. read for book club
Jan 21, 2016 Kristin marked it as to-read
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Isaac Adamson is the author of COMPLICATION, nominee for the 2013 Edgar Award for Best Paperback Original.

He also wrote TOKYO SUCKERPUNCH, DREAMING PACHINKO, and other Billy Chaka mysteries.

Isaac lives in Portland with his wife and children.

You can follow him on Twitter at @isaacadamson or find him on Facebook.

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