The fourth Inspector Rebus novel from the No.1 bestselling author - 'unmatched in the field of British crime fiction' THE TIMES.
Gregor Jack, MP, well-liked, young, married to the fiery Elizabeth - to the outside world a very public success story. But Jack's carefully nurtured career plans take a tumble after a 'mistake' during a police raid on a notorious Edinburgh brothel. Then Elizabeth disappears, a couple of bodies float into view where they shouldn't, and a lunatic speaks from his asylum...
Initially Rebus is sympathetic to the MP's dilemma - who hasn't occasionally succumbed to temptation? - but with the disappearance of Jack's wife the glamour surrounding the popular young man begins to tarnish. Someone wants to strip Jack naked and Rebus wants to know why...
For all the right reasons, Edinburgh Detective Inspector John Rebus calls for comparison with Colin Dexter's Oxford copper Inspector Morse. Both spend a lot of time in pubs and bemoan the onset of middle age; each is a shrewd detective with a literary bent who operates in an academic town where clashes of culture beget victims. When much-loved politician Gregor Jack is discovered in a midnight raid on a discreet brothel, a surprising number of journalists are on hand--a situation that endangers Jack's political future. Jack's wealthy wife Elizabeth, a noted partygoer whose friends are equally well-heeled and hedonistic, can't be found. Her body is soon pulled from a nearby river, a fatality mirroring the recent murder of another, unidentified, woman. A drunk who brags of the first killing gives a false address and vanishes north of the city. Meanwhile Rebus, trying to trace a cache of valuable stolen books, finds himself talking again to the late Elizabeth's coterie of party friends. Rankin creates a living, breathing world in which his weary protagonist tackles his cases while involved in the intricacies of the day-to-day: pints and hangovers, stumbling romance, wet weather, damp clothes, tricky superiors and wide-eyed subordinates. All are brought to bear, yet all are ultimately jettisoned as Rebus closes in on the satisfying solution.