“Complicity” by Iain Banks

I was attracted by the political element of the story, and also the fact that parts of it are written in second person, an interesting idea that I am exploring at the moment in my own writing. Unfortunately I found that the second-person passages are short, and the political element is underplayed – someone is attacking people who have committed terrible crimes, e.g. arms dealers, child pornographers, etc., but there’s little real examination of the moral issues involved. It becomes a standard thriller, with the hero accused of the murders and needing to find the real killer before it’s too late. The trouble is, the real killer is so blindingly obvious that I spent most of the book just frustrated, waiting for the ‘hero’ to figure it out. Uh, your best friend, ex-army, well trained in killing people but now disillusioned with life and living on his own in a run-down hotel in the Highlands? Hello? Do you really need 300 pages to figure this out?

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