Skinner revisits his nightmares: old but not forgotten. Fifteen years in the past, newly promoted Detective Superintendent Bob Skinner is called to investigate a most brutal death. A man lies at the deep end of an empty swimming pool, his neck broken and almost every other bone in his body shattered. Soon, an organised-crime connection looms, and bloody retribution spreads to a second city. Then violence erupts on a new front, as a vicious knifeman seems to be targeting Edinburgh's gay population.
As if this double dose of homicide isn't enough for a single man with a teenage daughter to raise and protect, Skinner's personal life takes a similar perilous twist. Can he stay on the side of the angels? Or will he fall?