Born in the Kingdom of Fife in 1960, Ian Rankin graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1982 and then spent three years writing novels when he was supposed to be working towards a PhD in Scottish Literature. His first Rebus novel was published in 1987; the Rebus books are now translated into 22 languages and are bestsellers on several continents.
The death of Maria Turquand had all the ingredients that would have appealed to the salacious public forty years ago; a beautiful woman, gangsters, drugs and rock stars. Not everyone from those glory days has moved on from Edinburgh and it pleases retired detective John Rebus that this is a cold case with connections to the present. Old crimes can still wound. Secrets from the past can forever alter those that are forever tasked with keeping them hidden.
Up and coming crime boss Darryl Christie has been attacked in his own front garden and the unlikelihood that this was a random attack niggles at Rebus. Still, it needs to be investigated, and this (luckily) falls to ex colleague DI Siobhan Clarke to address. DI Malcolm Fox, somewhat more cordial now that he is no longer investigating the likes of Rebus via his previous role in Professional Standards, may have been transferred out of the area but his commanders send him back to Edinburgh anyway due to their concern that money laundering has now become a greater part of Christie’s criminal portfolio. Rebus is in good need of a distraction away from the giving up of the smokes and heavy drinking. His old nemesis Big Ger Cafferty is still puppet mastering and definitely not easing into retirement in the way he would like Rebus to believe.