Hard drinking, heavy smoking, rock and roll loving John Rebus is back, as irascible as ever. He’s not drinking quite as much but he’s meeting with series nemesis Big Ger once a week for a drink. Now Rebus is a civilian looking into cold cases when he takes a call from a woman whose daughter went missing several years ago. She reveals a pattern to Rebus who immediately starts an investigation that disrupts police routines and peoples’ lives as much as it solves the mystery.
Rebus runs roughshod over police procedures and even performs illegal activities to solve the mysteries (there’s always more than just one mystery). He reads inept superiors at first glance and turns them into his foils. Rebus’ style is anarchic and it’s always enjoyable when stuffy superiors are proven wrong and Rebus eventually is proven right. The fun is in getting there.