An unexpected call brings back memories and guilt for DK John Rebus of the Lothian and Borders police. An old schoolfriend's son has gone missing, and Brian Mee would like 'Johnny' to do a little digging on the side to put his wife's mind at rest. ...
Then Rebus finds by chance a freed paedophile at the zoo with camera in hand. 'Outing' the man brings in the vigilantes, leaving Rebus with mixed feelings and another weight on his conscience. But the last straw is a convicted killer, back on home ground after extradition from the US. Cary Oakes is looking to play games - with Rebus as his number one pawn.