After five years in exile his presence is required at the funeral of local patriarch Joe Murston, even though the last time Stewart saw the Murstons he was running for his life. An estuary town north of Aberdeen, Stonemouth, with its five mile beach, can be beautiful on a sunny day. On a bleak one it can seem to offer little more than sea fog, gangsters, cheap drugs, and a suspension bridge irresistible to suicides. And although there's supposed to be a temporary truce between Stewart and the town's biggest crime family, it's soon clear that only Stewart is taking this promise of peace seriously.
Before long a quick drop into the cold, grey Stoun River begins to look like the easy option, but as he steps back into the minefield of his past to confront his guilt and all that it has lost him, Stewart uncovers ever darker stories, and his homecoming takes a more lethal turn than even he had anticipated.
Tough, funny, fast-paced, and touching, renowned storyteller Iain Banks poignantly evokes adolescence, love, brotherhood, and vengeance in a rite-of-passage novel unlike any other.
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"Macabre and quite impossible to put down." - The Financial Times
"Establishes beyond doubt that Banks is a novelist of remarkable talents." - The Daily Telegraph
"Starred Review. Stunning descriptions of coastal Scotland alternate with the rain-soaked violence of Ellie's brothers and Stu's painful flashbacks to his youth." - Publishers Weekly
"Contemporary, hilarious, grittyyes, this is genre fiction, and no, the genre doesn't get much better than this." - Kirkus
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Iain (Menzies) Banks was born in Fife in 1954, and was educated at Stirling
University, where he studied English Literature, Philosophy and Psychology.
He came to widespread and controversial public notice with the publication of his first novel, The Wasp Factory, in 1984.
His first science fiction novel, Consider Phlebas, was published in 1987. He continued to write both mainstream fiction (as Iain Banks) and science fiction (as Iain M. Banks).
He was acclaimed as one of the most powerful, innovative and exciting writers of his generation: The Guardian called him "the standard by which the rest of SF is judged". William Gibson, the New York Times-bestselling author of Spook Country described Banks as a "phenomenon".
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