3 and a half stars really... or maybe even 4 - I'm just being mean. There was quite a lot of torture in this one which I am never really comfortable with. Banks is one of the few writers that I can read with this level of violence. Early on with some of the Iain Banks novels I decided that it was something Banks played with, but not something that he enjoyed. And that left me able to enjoy (although not quite the right word here) reading his books.