A fire consumed Edinburgh's Central Hotel five years ago. The Central was down-at-the-heels and when no blame was ever placed for the fire, no one cared very much. Now a body with a bullet in the skull has been found in the charred ruins. Inspector John Rebus's superiors don't have any enthusiasm for his investigation of the case. Then Rebus's protégé, Detective Sergeant Brian Holmes, is severely beaten and Rebus ties the attack to Holmes's interest in the Central Hotel body. While Holmes is unable to communicate, Rebus finds Holmes's black book of notes and begins to decipher them. Ruffling important feathers as he uncovers secrets, Rebus is once again the angst-ridden maverick detective. He's overly fond of whisky and not very fond of rules or pretentiousness, but he gets results no one can argue with.
It's easy to see why Ian Rankin is the king of "Tartan Noir". This sixth entry in the Inspector Rebus series won the Gold Dagger Award and was nominated for the Edgar. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
This report prepared by Vicky Shultz