The discovery of a dead banker sends shock waves through the sleepy coastal town of Ayr. And it's up to DI Bob Valentine, recently back on the force after his near-fatal stabbing, to find the killer. But leads are hard to find and the pressure is on from an anxious Chief Superintendent who is being hounded by the media and still has serious concerns about her DI's mental health.
After a tip-off, a man's body is exhumed from a shallow grave in Edinburgh. Murder surely, yet he died from natural causes, so, case closed? Indeed was there ever a case? But Chief Constable Skinner and his people keep on digging. Who was the man, why was he buried so reverentially, and by whom? Meanwhile corruption is discovered within the force, and an investigation launched.
When DI Bob Valentine returns to duty after a narrow escape with death, he is faced with the discovery of a corpse on a kitchen table with a horrific neck wound and a mystery surrounding the victim's missing partner and her daughter. It's all too close to his own near-fatal stabbing. When the murder investigation begins to reveal a tragic family drama, Bob Valentine struggles to deal with the rapidly unfolding events and the terrifying visions that haunt him.
Four teenagers find the mutilated corpse of a young girl stuffed into a dumpster in an Edinburgh alleyway. Who is she? Where did she come from? Who killed her and why? Above all, where is the baby to whom she has obviously recently given birth? Inspector Rob Brennan, recently back from psychiatric leave, is still shocked by the senseless shooting of his only brother. His superiors think that the case of the dumpster girl will be perfect to get him back on track.
In a cold, windswept field on the outskirts of Edinburgh lies the brutally mutilated body of a young woman. As DI Rob Brennan looks at the tangled mass of limbs and blood, he feels his heart freeze. Like Fiona Gow five years earlier, this girl has been strangled with her own stockings, sexually mutilated and her eyes have been gouged out. Is this the work of an Edinburgh Ripper? The press certainly think so.
Gus Dury is back on the drink. While in hospital after a hit-and-run accident, his best friend, Hod, asks him to investigate the ritual, on-campus hanging of an Edinburgh University student. The victim's mother is a high-profile actress, who has promised a reward. Gus, desperate for money, goes undercover at the university, taking a janitor's job, and soon uncovers a similar ritualistic hanging which took place in the 1970s.