Detective Inspector Siobhan Clarke is investigating the death of a senior lawyer that occurred during a robbery. The case becomes more complex when a note is discovered, indicating that this may have been no random attack. When local gangster Big Ger Cafferty receives an identical message, Clarke decides that the recently retired John Rebus may be able to help. Together the two old adversaries might just stand a chance of saving Cafferty's skin. But a notorious family tailed by a team of undercover detectives has also arrived in Edinburgh. There's something they want, and they'll stop at nothing to get it. As the cases collide, it's a game of dog eat dog-in the city as in the wild.
Just weeks remain before Detective John Rebus is set to retire. As he ponders his future, a final bit of work remains- an investigation into the murder of a Russian poet. Far from cut and dried, the case brings Rebus and Clarke smack-dab into the center of international intrigue.
A major inquiry into a neighboring police force sees Malcolm Fox and his colleagues cast adrift, unsure of territory, protocol, or who they can trust. An entire station-house looks to have been compromised, but as Fox digs deeper he finds the trail leads him back in time to the suicide of a prominent politician and activist. There are secrets buried in the past, and reputations on the line.