The protagonist, Prentice McHoan, is a 22 year old history student taking his first steps on the road of life and, as the blurb tells us, ‘he is deeply preoccupied: mainly with death, sex, drink, God and illegal substances’. You want to know what happens to Prentice, but he’s also a character you often feel the need to slap, especially concerning his relationship with his female friend Ashley. But then, who wasn’t so blind at that age? Starting with the sentence ‘It was the day my Grandmother exploded’ this is a book I didn’t want to put down, for despite its ambling pace the whole thing was thoroughly engaging, and despite their foibles I enjoyed the characters and wanted to know where Banks would leave them.
The murder mystery kicked in very slowly and was only one facet of the main concern here, The Crow Road, Death, but I feel it tied in perfectly at the end with that final image of Rory. Some quite beautiful writing here but, of course, no surprise about the politics of the villain of the piece, I’m just surprised he wasn’t shown whipping peasants from horseback. Ah well.