Canal Dreams by Iain Banks

Canal Dreams

Iain Banks

The Panama Canal, one of the world's greatest feats of engineering, is an unusual setting for a thriller; and Hisako Onoda, an unlikely heroine. This slowly unfolding story lulled me into a false sense of security so that the ensuing bloodbath came as a shock. When the narrative slips into Hisako's past, it goes some way towards explaining the complexity of her character and makes for several moving moments. Definitely one to recommend.

Extract

So well. It had all gone so well. She'd fitted in, she'd made friends, she'd enjoyed the concerts and hadn't been very nervous apart from the very first one, and recording could be boring but you could switch off to some extent; nobody expected to do their most inspired work after thirty takes ... She had money, and a new cello, and her mother was proud of her; her life looked set and certain, and her future bright and exciting, and she'd wondered what could go wrong, because she was used to things balancing out, and this was it.

Parallels
  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
  • Kill Bill - the film