With this new addition to the long running Rebus saga, Rankin/Rebus have re-confirmed their top ranking in the world of cop fiction. Silver goes to the Michael Connelly/Harry Bosch team.
Rebus and Bosch have a lot in common. Both are usually a pain in the neck to their superiors. Both are near retirement (Bosch actually was already retired but could not bear it and came back), both were married and are fathers, but live alone. Both are boozers, but not druggies, both music addicts, though one more in rock, one in jazz.
This sequel is set in the surroundings of the G8 summit in Scotland in 2005. Rebus is being sidelined by his superiors, i.e. assigned to side shows and not the main event, so as to minimize embarrassments for his bosses, but of course that idea fails.
Rebus' protege Siobhan Clarke is involved in the protest demo against the summit. This is part of her family background. She became a cop out of contrariness against her parents, who are aging hippies and beacons of righteousness, with a long track record of political lecturing back into the good old 60s.
Security forces try to keep the summit trouble free, which is upset by an apparent suicide and an emerging serial killer, not to mention the usual anarchists' and neo-nazis' attempt to surf the good people's demo. Not to mention either the bickering among the services and their pecking order fights.
Though the whole is a trifle over the top in political patronizing, it is solid cop fare.