The Crow Road is excellent. It’s a cross between a family saga and a whodunit. It spans several generations of a big Scottish family, and although jumping between generations can mean the book is, at times, hard to follow, it is an effective vehicle for advancing the plot. The story is also told from multiple perspectives which, when you get used to it, gives you rich flavour of what is happening.
I had only read the Wasp Factory by Banks before, and the Crow Road is no where nearly as dark, although it’s not as light hearted as someone like William Boyd. I did, find myself reminded of some Boyd books however, as Banks has deep layers to his characters as Boyd does.
There is a lot going on this book, the split in the family over religion; Prentice’s wayward ways; key people dying in odd circumstances; Uncle Hamish’s disappearance; to name but a few. There is of course lots of drinking and smoking ‘J’s.’ :)
All in all, an excellent read, that I zoomed through. I will certainly be reading more Banks in the future!