Edinburgh inspector John Rebus was a short-timer due for retirement and as such, no one really expected him to work hard, especially not on a case involving the murder of Cyril Colliar, a recently released sex offender and certainly not with the Group of Eight summit starting up. It rankles a bit to find himself relegated to the sidelines during the upcoming G8 but fate steps in and lands Rebus directly in the middle of a suspicious death/suicide during one of the pre-summit meetings. Immediately Rebus is confronted by Commander Steelforth who makes it abundantly clear that the inspector’s expertise is unwelcome.
Soon Rebus and his partner Siobhan Clark are hot on the trail of a possible serial killer, hip deep in rowdy demonstrations and international corporate interests as they attempt to link Colliar’s murder with Edinburgh’s main crime boss. Eventually the detectives will discover that there is indeed a serial killer on the loose and with Steelforth’s help, the murderer will walk away scot-free.
This is an action packed crime thriller with numerous subplots making for an engrossing read. Indeed, the subplots bring together real world events that add significant depth to an already absorbing tale. Rebus and Clark find themselves facing pressing personal issues while juggling the tightrope that comes with the media and security of the G8, thereby adding a humanizing element. By the end, the many subplots are tied together and the foundation laid for the next Rebus novel.