The Isle of Lewis is the most remote, harshly beautiful place in Scotland, where the difficulty of existence seems outweighed only by people's fear of God. But older, pagan values lurk beneath the veneer of faith, the primal yearning for blood and revenge. When a brutal murder on the island bears the hallmarks of a similar slaying in Edinburgh, police detective Fin Macleod is dispatched north to investigate. But since he himself was raised on Lewis, the investigation also represents a journey home and into his past.
When two young female artists are murdered in what looks like ritualistic killings, the pressure is on to find a highly professional murderer. What is the link with the art world? Is the killer a disgruntled art critic? A twice-jilted lover? It's not long before Deputy Chief Constable Bob Skinner gets called back to the frontline.
The heat is on for DCC Bob Skinner. His career hangs by a thread, as a recent illness has given his enemies a weapon to use against him. A body found in the detritus of a flood is identified as the hated brother whose existence he has kept hidden for years. And an incendiary device destroys a valuable painting in the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh. As Skinner and his team tackle these crises, his wife Sarah, recovering from the loss of her parents, finds comfort with an old college lover. When fate leaves her staring at a seemingly inevitable murder conviction, Bob will need all his resources to sort out the tangled mess his life has become.
With his boss recovering from a heart attack, Deputy Chief Constable Bob Skinner is filling his shoes - and that means more time behind a desk. But he's about to be provided with more drama than he could ever want. One of the world's most ruthless terrorists is on his way to Edinburgh - and he can only have one thing on his mind: the forthcoming conference of world Heads of Government. If Skinner doesn't pick up his trail fast, he could have a global disaster in his backyard.
Superintendent Bob Skinner is called to investigate a brutal death. A man lies at the deep end of an empty swimming pool, his neck broken and almost every other bone in his body shattered. Soon, an organised crime connection looms, and bloody retribution spreads to a second city. Then a vicious knifeman seems to be targeting Edinburgh's gay population. As if this double dose of homicide isn't enough Skinner's personal life takes a similar, perilous twist.
The body of a murdered woman is found washed up on Cramond Island near the mouth of the River Forth. Days later detectives are called to a flat in Edinburgh; the kitchen is covered in blood, and the occupier is missing. When the name of the woman from Cramond Island is revealed, it stirs unwelcome memories for those who knew her, Chief Constable Bob Skinner most of all.
After thirty years of service, former Chief Constable Bob Skinner faces the possible end of his police career. A quiet trip to Catalunya to contemplate his future soon takes on a different flavour when Skinner is approached by an old friend, media owner Xavier Aislado, with an unusual request. One of his business's brightest talents, Hector Sureda Roca, has vanished without a trace. Now it's up to Skinner to track him down. But as he conducts his search it soon becomes clear that another manhunt is also in progress, and that he himself is the target. His search for Sureda takes one sinister turn after another, until he is faced with the toughest question of all. Is natural justice sometimes the only answer?
The body of an unknown woman is found and it is labeled as a random act of violence, until that is Detective Constable Faro finds a playing card, the nine of diamonds, underneath the corpse. While his superiors scoff at his suspicions, it is not the last calling card for Faro.
When the body of a half-clothed woman is discovered in an Edinburgh park, a murder investigation is launched. The victim has not been reported missing and there are few clues to her identity. Soon after, the naked corpse of a prominent clergyman is found, also in a park. Is the same killer at work, and what is the connection between the attacks?
The year is 1861 and Inspector Faro's rest is disrupted when he is given a special assignment by old friend, Detective Superintendent Macfie. Macfie's cousin-in-law, a champion swimmer, has drowned in mysterious circumstances. Could his death have really been an accident, or is something more sinister going on? Arriving in Orkney to investigate, he is met with rumors of missing artifacts, the myth of the seal king, a dead body under the floor of Scarthbreck, his first love, and a mother who is determined to find him a wife.
Scottish nationalists launch a campaign of terror during the Edinburgh Festival, exploding bombs and killing people. In answer, Bob Skinner, the assistant chief constable, forms a special police team to counter-attack.
Deputy Chief Constable Bob Skinner could be forgiven for thinking that someone is out to get him. With his marriage already on the rocks, he suddenly finds his private life plastered across the pages of a tabloid. And then a woman already linked to Skinner by tragedy is found dead, with her young son a kidnap victim. Skinner finds himself at the centre of a deadly maze of conspiracy and unless he can clear his name he stands to lose everything.
When an Edinburgh car showroom is torched Constable Bob Skinner wonders if a life of crime has finally caught up with one of the city's most elusive villains. But the corpse turns out not to be the owner of the showroom, but his wife. However, his priority is a murder much closer to home. Ever since memories of his first wife Myra's death resurfaced under hypnosis, the question of how she really died has become an obsession which could threaten his career, his marriage and even his sanity.
A mid-air explosion, and a plane plunges to disaster from the Scottish skies, the British and American Defence Secretaries among the victims. Edinburgh's Deputy Chief Constable Skinner leads the biggest investigation of his career - until random violence wrenches him out of the picture. While his colleagues struggle with a mass of clues and suspects, Skinner lies on the brink of death, trapped with the horrors of his own hidden past.
When an attorney is horribly murdered on Edinburgh's Royal Mile, CID head Bob Skinner wonders if it is work-related. However, three subsequent murders suggest a serial killer instead. But then the attorney's lover (also an attorney) is murdered. The investigation sends Skinner into a world where his rules of fairness and honesty don't apply...
First the joyous birth of Skinner's son. Then the grim reality of murder in ones of Edinburgh's prosperous suburbs. The victim had run a chain of businesses throughout the city, but for some time the police suspected these to be the front for a drug-distribution network. As the murder investigation continues without result, it seems the killer was particularly cunning in covering his tracks - leaving no clues or leads to pursue.