By Iain M. Banks

Hisako Onoda, global well-known cellist, refuses to fly. And so she travels to Europe as a passenger on a tanker certain in the course of the Panama Canal. yet Panama is a rustic whose politics are as risky because the neighborhood freedom warring parties. whilst Hisako's send is captured, it's not lengthy earlier than the ambience is as flammable as an oxy-acetylene torch, and the stress as sharp because the spike on her cello. CANAL desires is a singular of misleading simplicity and darkish, unique energy: stark mental insights mesh with vividly realised situations in an ominous projection of worldwide realpolitik. the result's yet one more significant landmark within the really amazing occupation of a superb sleek novelist.

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What are you talking about, some avant-garde theatre show or something? ' She stopped listening to them talk. She stood up and looked to the door as it opened. More of Le Cercle's crew; Marie Boulard came to her and they embraced. The small trenchwoman's hair smelled of roses; her skin of ... some allotrope of normal human sweat; fear perhaps. Hisako looked anxiously at the door, but it closed again. Marie kissed her cheek, then sat beside Mandamus, who patted her hand. Le Cercle's chief engineer, Viglain, stood before Hisako, tall and vaguely cadaverous and smelling of Gitanes.

But it wasn't what we saw. It all started at once, and I didn't hear any jets. ' Broekman laughed, clasped his hands over the rail. ' He spat into the water, as if aiming for the cigar stub. 'First time any terrs take to the water at night, and the Guard call up air support ... we'll get clobbered. You watch. ' The last two days had been peaceful. The only unusual activity they'd noticed had been a couple of National Guard patrol boats, venturing out from Gatún and Frijoles to disturb the peace with their droning outboards.

He said. She nodded. He stuffed it back into his belt. ' 'Twelve,' Philippe sighed. Hisako took her eyes off the gun sticking out of the comrade major's belt. How dry her mouth had gone, she thought. Sucre nodded, looked slowly round the room, lips moving soundlessly. 'OK; we take you over ... ' He pointed at her. 'Uno, dos, tres ... ' he pointed at nine of the crewmen. ' ... diez. You go now. ' Philippe told the men what was happening. Hisako stood with the rest. They were taken down to the Gemini, and with one vencerista sitting watching them from the bows, and a second operating the outboard with one hand while pointing his gun at them with the other, they were taken over the calm black waters of the lake to the brightly lit shape of the Nadia.

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