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by Ian Rankin

Pub Date: Oct. 18th, 2022
ISBN: 978-0-316-47363-7
Publisher: Little, Brown

Criminal Investigation Department pensioner John Rebus is lured from forced retirement by the world’s most unlikely client.

Wheelchair-bound Morris Gerald Cafferty, known by every criminal in Edinburgh as Big Ger, feels uncharacteristically guilty over the pressure he put on Jack Oram, who managed the Potter’s Bar for Cafferty and helped himself liberally to the till before vanishing four years ago. Now that he’s heard rumors Oram’s back in town, he’d like his old nemesis to track the embezzler down so that Cafferty could have a word with him. Initially incredulous, Rebus agrees to poke around. Meanwhile, Rebus’ old mate DI Siobhan Clarke is looking for another missing person—Cheryl Haggard, who has enough scars to present convincing evidence against her husband, Francis, a uniformed cop accused of domestic violence. Clarke’s old frenemy DI Malcolm Fox, a hotshot who’s vaulted into the Specialist Crime Division, wants her investigation shut down before Francis Haggard can retaliate by implicating half his fellow officers on the Tynecastle force. When Francis takes the dilemma out of Clarke’s hands by going AWOL and turning up conveniently stabbed to death, everything’s resolved—except for all those accusations about the Tynecastle constabulary, and the fate of the dead-or-alive Jack Oram, and what looks increasingly like a revolving door between Edinburgh’s criminal establishment and Edinburgh’s finest. Rebus and Clarke soon establish connections between his case and hers, but that unsurprising news is only the beginning of a series of detonations, figurative and literal, that will ultimately land Rebus, as a teasing prologue shows, standing in the dock himself.

Two years after his checkered hero’s last outing, Rankin makes you feel the wait was worth every day, whatever comes next.