A call from an old friend brings back memories and more than a little guilt for DI John Rebus. Suddenly it seems Edinburgh's streets are crowded with the lost and forgotten.
Stalking a poisoner at the local zoo, Rebus hits upon a freed paedophile, camera in hand. Outing the man rouses the vigilantes and leaves Rebus with mixed feelings and another weight on his consciense. But the straw that looks like breaking Rebus's back comes courtesy of the US government. Fêted by the tabloid press and put under Rebus's watchful eye, a convicted murder is lookint to play games with Rebus as his pawn.