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Dead Air/Banks, Iain/Paper/0316860557/S050-A2
A couple of ice cubes, first, then the apple that really started it all. A loft apartment in London's East End; cool but doomed, demolition and redevelopment slated for the following week. Ken Nott, devoutly contrarian leftish shock-jock attending a mid-week wedding lunch, starts dropping stuff off the roof towards the deserted car park a hundred feet below. Other guests join in and soon half the contents of the flat are following the fruit towards the pitted tarmacàjust as mobiles start to ring, and the apartment's remaining TV is turned on, because apparently a plane has just crashed into the World Trade Centerà
Iain Banks' daring new novel starts with a bang and then accelerates through one man's political obsessions, manic media manipulations and wildly dangerous private life, speeding through a London of pubs, clubs and geezers of extreme dodginess to a twinned climax of nail-shredding intensity. A novel about politics, trust, paranoia and - perhaps - redemption, Dead Air is Iain Banks at his coruscating best.