In many respects this book does remind you of The Crow Road because it is all about families and the secrets they possess. In the case of the Crow Road it was murderous secret and in the case of The Steep Approach it looks like being something not too dissimilar.
Banks is slowly but surely building up to a crescendo. On one level the climax is going to be about the future destiny of the family company. On another level it is about the meeting again of Alban and the love of his life Sophie. But it is also going to be the backdrop to the solving of the mystery of Alban’s mother.
As Fielding drags Alban round the family to rally support for the opposition to the company takeover the central focus of the story is given information that starts to unlock the mystery of his past.
His great Aunt Beryl tells him that his mother tried to commit suicide to get rid of Alban before he was born because she said someone wanted her to get rid of the pregnancy. That mysterious person could be his father but more than likely it is someone in the family.
Throughout there are flashbacks about the relationship with Sophie and how it went from friendship to love. Innocent games played in the bushes in the garden are then contrasted with a present day moment between Alban and his current girlfriend.
The questions are piling up and heading for a climatic showdown at Gran’s birthday and the AGM at the family home at Garbadale.