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

Books with similar mood

You Will Be Safe Here

Damian Barr

Stay With Me

Ayòbámi Adébáyò

The Rescue Man

Anthony Quinn

The Torso

Helene Tursten

The Blue Mask

Joel Lane

Fatlands

Sarah Dunant

A Cosmology of Monsters

Shaun Hamill

The Summer of Reckoning

Marion Brunet

Smaller and Smaller Circles

E H Batagan

Speak No Evil

Uzodinma Iweala

The Vanishing of Katharina Linden

Helen Grant

Off the Chart

James W Hall

The Bobby Dazzlers

Andrew Martin

redRobe

Jon Courtenay Grimwood

The Sweetness of Life

Paulus Hochgatterer

Blood Sister

Dreda Say Mitchell

The Frozen Dead

Bernard Minier

Child 44

Tom Rob Smith

In the Country of Men

Hisham Matar

Esperanza Street

Niyati Keni

The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair

Joel Dicker

The Golden Scales

Parker Bilal

Burned

Thomas Enger

The House of the Mosque

Kader Abdolah

The Dead Won't Sleep

Anna Smith

The Bay of Naples

Alan Clews

Jamrach's Menagerie

Carol Birch

Witness the Night

Kishwar Desai

The Black Madonna

Peter Millar

This is the Country

William Wall

The Tenth Circle

Jodi Picoult

Strange Blood

Lindsay Ashford

The Sixth Lamentation

William Brodrick

The Cardamom Club

Jon Stock

Stone Cold Red Hot

Cath Staincliffe

Water for Elephants

Sara Gruen

Snare

Lilja Sigurdardottir

Austral

Paul McAuley

The Shape of Bones

Daniel Galera

Hinterland

Caroline Brothers

Harvest

Jim Crace

Secret Son

Laila Lalami

Days of Grace

Catherine Hall

A Vengeful Longing

R N Morris

The Other Hand

Chris Cleave

Broken

Daniel Clay

Prince Rupert's Teardrop

Lisa Glass

Where They Were Missed

Lucy Caldwell

Working for the Devil

Lilith Saintcrow