Do characters in novels need to be nice for us to care about them?

An interesting question this … So far, my main characters have tended to come out wanting to please, but lurking at the back of my mind is someone who may, if I play my cards right, turn out manipulative and a bit creepy. So my question is how do I make them compelling and how do I make my reader care about them even though they may not be that nice?

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