2012 has already brought us a new novel from Ken MacLeod and now, just a few weeks later follows ‘Stonemouth’ the latest (26th) novel from Iain Banks.

No ‘M’ this time and it continues Banks’s series of contemporary Scottish novels.

Stewart Gilmour is returning to Stonemouth after a gap of 5 years after being run out of time for an, initially at least, unspecified mistake. Given that Stonemouth is effectively run by two families (in the Mafia sense of the word), as well as renewing old acquaintances, Stewart’s return risks never leaving Stonemouth in one piece.

As with all Banks’s recent novels ‘Stonemouth’ is hugely enjoyable with a believable and largely sympathetic set of characters.

It doesn’t break any new ground for Banks though as a buried ‘secret’ (at least for the reader), families and even a bridge have all featured in previous books.

Nonetheless it’s a good book and one which I took advantage of a couple of days off to demolish in about 24 hours.

Get it in all good bookshops. Or even your local library.

Iain Banks is appearing at the Steps Theatre in Dundee on Thursday 10th May and at the Lochgelly Centre in Fife on 21st June. There are also various other UK dates over the next couple of months.

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