This is as good as I can imagine crime writing ever getting. An established criminal is in jail, and an upstart has moved onto his old territory to take over. But the Japanese Yakuza (bit like Chinese Triads) want to move in, and set the gangs against each other by initiating a set of tit-for-tat murders. Inspector Rebus is investigating and finds himself so deep in the thick of it that murders are made to look like his doing, and his daughter almost pays the price with her life.
At the breathless height of this book, the inspector is under suspicion from his own superiors, threatened by ruthless gangs, and all-out war is about to break across Edinburgh; his daughter's life is on a knife-edge in hospital (where he meets his ex-wife and her new partner, and she gets to meet his latest acquaintance), and he is trying furiously hard to avoid retreating to his old drinking habits.
The shear emotions would be too much for any other author to even contemplate trying to express, but Rankin does better than best and carries it through to a fantastically clever conclusion. The plot seems to include a cast of fifty, and you get to know each and every character like he was your next-door neighbour.
The very last scene, where one of the gangs hands over the under age hit-and-run driver that nearly killed his daughter, (which it turns out was nothing to do with the gangland violence), is pure gold.
I'm now on a mission to read all the Rankin books.