Dark family secrets, a long-lost love affair and a multi-million pound gaming business lie at the heart of Iain Banks' fabulous new novel. The Wopuld family built their fortune on a board game called Empire - now a wildly successful computer game.
So successful the American Spraint Corp want to buy the Wopulds out. Alban, who has been evading the family tentacles for the last few years, thinks Spraint should be treated with suspicion - but he also has other things on his mind. What drove his mother to take her own life?
And is he yet over Sophie, his teenage love, who'll be present at the forthcoming family gathering - part birthday party, part Extraordinary General Meeting - in their highland castle?