A moment of nostalgia causes problems for a Glasgow police officer.
DS William Lorimer has a lot on his hands. The Commonwealth Games will soon begin in Glasgow, and there’s been a credible threat of homegrown terrorism. When a big explosion, perhaps a trial run, causes extensive damage in a wooded area, Lorimer is seconded to help the counterterrorism force in their investigation. At the same time, he can’t resist an invitation to attend a school reunion run by his first love, Vivien Fox Gilmartin, whom he finds just as lovely as she was when she broke up with him to pursue an acting career. After their reunion, Vivien phones him hysterically to say that she’s found her husband, Charles, a famous theater director, dead in the flat they’re renting while he works to bring African theater groups to Scotland. His death appears to be a heart attack, but forensics show that he was poisoned. In addition, the police learn of the discovery of the body of a young African woman who has only a small tattoo as a clue to her identity. They suspect that she was part of a scheme to provide sex workers for the influx of visitors to the games. Since Vivien has no other friends in the area, Lorimer and his wife, Maggie, take her in while her husband’s murder is under investigation. Maggie berates herself for feeling that Vivien is less interested in her late husband than in Lorimer, who must hand off the case because he’s personally involved. Tracking down the tattoo leads to more stolen girls and a man who may be involved in both the trafficking and the terrorism, but Charles’ death remains a mystery.
An excellent procedural in which Gray (Keep the Midnight Out, 2015, etc.) does for Glasgow what Ian Rankin did for Edinburgh in the annals of crime fiction.