Disappointing Rebus installment, mostly let down by the ending. It takes time
before the atmosphere really establishes, and on the whole there are too many
characters to be able to follow.
A murder takes place in the past, and the mother realizes that there is a
pattern of similar events on the A9 road previously. The only person who will
consider the case is Rebus, now long retired but working for the force on cold
cases as a civilian. There is some side-tracking with a gang of workers on
the A9 carriageway, but ultimately it is Rebus’ old contacts who end up in the
frame. There is much appearance of Gerald Cafferty, Rebus’ long-time foe, but
is completely secondary and unneccessary. The relationship Rebus now has with
him is unrealistic, them sharing drinks and banter in pubs.
In the end it turns out a former police chief’s brother is the culprit, but
manages to hide his tracks successfully so that the police are stumped, and
no-one will take Rebus seriously although he knows the truth. In the end
Rebus gets an adversary to abduct and then almost murder the man, except that
Rebus steps in at the last minute to stop this taking place. The murderer is
then apparently frightened enough that he turns himself in. All in all, the
ending is neither plausible, well elucidated, or even interesting.