'A gripping and sinister tale... The plot is complicated as is the author's exploration into the psychology of guilt, revenge and fear'
Independent 'Tough and authentic-sounding thriller... unlikely to be endorsed by the Scottish Tourist Board, but highly recommended to anyone weary of the tartan'
Literary Review Once John Rebus was a Para, served in the elite SAS. Now he's an Edinburgh policeman who spends time evading his memories and missing promotion opportunities. Then there is the small matter of the brutal abduction and murder of two young girls and a third missing. Detective Sergeant John Rebus, smoking and drinking too much, his own daughter spirited away by his estranged wife, is one of many policemen hunting the killer. Then .the messages begin: knotted string and matchstick crosses taunt Rebus with a puzzle only he can solve.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Vivid!, August 1, 2003 Reviewer: Mollie Taylor from Atlanta, GA The character of John Rebus is very realistic and very easy to get to know. He is strong on the outside but troubled inside; his memories of being in the army give him nightmares and sometimes even attack him during the day. Just like all of us, there are ghosts in his past that he refuses to talk about. I like how Rankin leaves most of the details of Rebus's life for us to wonder about until the end of the novel. The style is similar to John Patterson's. The plot is not overly imaginative, but is realistic and interesting enough to make the book an easy and enjoyable read. The thing that I like most about Ian Rankin is his long, vivid descriptions. "These were the books that lay around his living-room. His books for reading tended to congregate in the bedroom, lying in co-ordinated rows on the floor like patients in a doctor's waiting-room." and "Modern killers bragged of their crimes to their friends, then played pool in their local pub, chalking their cues with poise and certainty, knowing which balls would drop in which order... While a police-car slept nearby, its occupants unable to do anything save curse the mountains of rules and regulations and rue the deep chasms of crime. It was everywhere, crime. It was the life-force and the blood and the balls of life: to cheat, to edge; to take that body-swerve at authority, to kill." I recommend this book to anyone who loves a good crime novel, to any lovers of Patterson or Connelly.