Five years earlier Stewart Gilmour had ingloriously fled Stonemouth, only just escaping the vengeance of the town's most violent family. Now he's back - with grudged permission and a time limit - for the funeral of the same family's patriarch. Interesting scenario. There are moments of high tension; there is violence, but also lots of humour as you would expect from Iain Banks. I had doubts early on, but in the end really enjoyed this book.