DI John Rebus is struggling with an incipient gang war in Edinburgh. He’s investigating an elderly academic who might be a Nazi war criminal. A Bosnian prostitute has brought out the white knight in him. His personal life is a mess: He’s off the booze, but work is the only thing keeping him going. And his daughter has been run down in the street, perhaps as a warning to him.
Rebus somehow struggles with all of this, coming out more or less victorious, but at a cost to his integrity and his loved ones.