Several seemingly unrelated Edinburgh murders just need a little creative thinking to link them.
DI Tony McLean seems to get the odd and unusual cases (Dead Men’s Bones, 2016, etc.). When Dalgliesh, a tough-as-nails woman journalist he despises (her first name is never used), asks him to help find another reporter who’s gone missing, he reluctantly agrees to look for Ben Stevenson. Tony’s been putting off meeting the builders who want to repair the apartment house where he lived until he was almost killed in a fire. The father-and-son McClymont team propose plans for a cheap renovation that the independently wealthy Tony refuses to consider despite the large sum of money he’s being offered for a buyout. Soon he finds himself harassed along with his transgender medium friend, Madame Rose, who also owns a house the developers want to buy. Meanwhile, the upcoming retirement of Detective Superintendent Duguid has left the murder squad in the middle of a shake-up. Several equally untalented officers are hoping for promotion, but not Tony, whose outspokenness often gets him in trouble. The discovery of Ben Stevenson’s body, throat cut and blood drained, in Gilmerton Cove, a network of caves under the streets of Edinburgh, turns the case into a major investigation. With help from Dalgliesh, Tony learns that Ben was working on an odd conspiracy theory. Forensics finds nothing at the scene that can help. When a nurse and a doctor who work at the same hospital are killed, Tony is sure they're connected to Stevenson's murder; Duguid is not convinced the three deaths are related, but he finally lets Tony combine the investigations. The certainty among the organized crime squad that the McClymonts are drug runners tangles Tony's life even further. The truth, when Tony finally works it out, will be more unbelievable than he ever imagined.
Yet another police procedural on steroids, a case made even more bizarre by Oswald’s trademark hints of the supernatural; impossible to put down.