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. Immersed in crises, his marriage heading for the rocks, Skinner finds his very career hanging in the balance, its fate beyond his control. In a tale seen through the eyes of each of its leading players, Quintin Jardine, the Crimemaster, lays mystery upon mystery until the greatest threat of all those facing the Chief is revealed, and a deadly race begins. Can he win out, or will his life implode?