Having solved every crime in Scotland (Lethal Intent, 2005, etc.), DCC Bob Skinner is ready when England sends for him.
Something’s rotten in the upper echelons of MI5 and MI6—murder, treason, conspiracy, take your pick of high crimes and misdemeanors—and somebody big is required to set things right. They don’t come much bigger than broad-shouldered Bob Skinner, but it’s his reputation for independence and probity that’s caused London to issue its SOS. The powers that be want an investigation that will withstand scrutiny so that they can emerge with luster restored. Skinner’s signature on their report is an acceptable trade-off, they feel, for having a famous loose cannon on the premises. Not everyone in Whitehall concurs. After all, the secret services are nothing if not secretive. So Skinner has a job-and-a-half on his hands. Meanwhile, back in Edinburgh, the bereft constabulary is doing its best to muddle through in the big man’s absence. Feeling the pinch, even top cop Sir James Proud pitches in when an attractive lady in distress places a curious phone call to him. Curiouser and curiouser, since it turns out that Sir James’s home-grown case and Skinner’s far-flung one have an interesting connection.
Though Jardine’s blokes and birds in blue are a bit less randy than usual, flamboyant Skinner, in bed or out, is enough to keep the pages turning.