Have to say I have mixed feelings about this story of the life of fictional shock-jock, Ken Notts. For one thing, I can't stand it when authors discuss or express political views through the dialogue between their characters, and this is frequently the case in this novel as Notts embarks upon long, uninteresting rants on politics, society and sport. The character felt nothing more than an excuse for the writer to express posssible views of his own that would have seen him linched if this wasn't a work of fiction. In the end I skipped them all until he took the reader back to the narrative. The dialogues also slow the novel right down, too.
The other thing I don't like about the novel is what I'd consider a blatant exploitation of the 9/11 disaster, for there's very little reference to, connection with, or discussion, on the tragedy at all in the book. It has simply been used to attract the attention of the reader, which I find very bad taste, and has put me right off Iain Banks.
The first half seems to drift nowhere in particular, with nothing of note other than the accident, the introduction of Nott's affair with a gangster's wife and the kidnapping, though these don't really hook you because of the distractions of the dialogue from the narrative.
Then, all of a sudden, the book kicks into life in the second half, becomes a fairly enjoyable read with some real moments of tension and you wonder what Banks was playing at in the first half. I particularly enjoyed Nott's confrontation with a Holocaust denier - even if this reflected a possible political argument of the author! - and how he gets himself in and out of the tight spot regarding his affair with the gangster's wife, I also liked how he Notts related what was going through his mind.
If you're the type of person that has a pile of books to get through, "Dead Air" is one to be put to the bottom until you've read all the others, since the first half makes it a get-it-over-and-done-with-style novel. If it hadn't have been for the second half I wouldn't have give "Dead Air" any stars.