An Scottish member of parliament Gregor Jack is caught in a raid on an Edinburgh brothel. This causes a media frenzy and Jack's explanation that he was only trying to talk to a prostitute sounds feeble. Detective Inspector John Rebus has nothing to do with vice but he feels sympathy for Jack. After all, Rebus himself suffers from the results of giving in to temptation, although, in his case, it is usually alcohol and his temper, not women.
But when Jack's wealthy wife disappears, it begins to look like someone is out to ruin the politician. The body of Jack's wife is found in a river. She had been beaten to death. Rebus sees a resemblance to another murder of an unidentified woman. His investigation of the first murder reaches a dead end when a drunk confesses and then vanishes. Rebus' attempts to interview the circle of wealthy friends of Jack's wife is also stymied as none want to discuss her wild party filled life.
This is book 4 of the Inspector Rebus series where the focus underlying the mystery is on politics and the media in Scotland.
The review of this Book prepared by L. Watson