21 April 2012

Complicity; Iain Banks


ComplicityComplicity by Iain Banks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It feels odd. not giving a Banks book 5 stars, but there was something a little off about this one.

Cameron Colley is a drinking, drugging, smoking, gaming reporter in Edinburgh; a few years earlier, he'd written an article that called for a Real Avenger, one that would right the wrongs that for whatever reason the law couldn't.  He's working now on an article about whiskey (a product ruined by the Americans) and nuclear subs, and a strange tipster keeps calling and telling him to look into the connections between five deaths a number of years before.

At the same time, and told from the second person perspective, several gruesome murders - Avengings - are taking place.  The police notice that the people killed are the same people Cameron wrote about, and bring him in for questioning.  Cameron finally figures out who's behind the killings and why (it takes a trip down memory lane).  That's partly where the book goes wrong for me: the bit where the killer/Avenger does his "this is why and how" routine.

Still, it's Iain Banks' excellent writing and interesting twists. The descriptions of Cameron's life and the game of Despot made me feel as though I knew him and could play the game (and is it any coincidence that at the end, when he's given back his laptop, his civilization has been demolished?  Yep, very obvious symbolism there!)  Sadly, I think I only have one more of his books to read before I have to start waiting for him to produce more.

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