An illegal immigrant is found murdered in an Edinburgh housing scheme. Rebus is drawn into the case, but has other problems: his old police station has closed for business, and his masters want him to retire. But Rebus is stubborn. As he investigates, he must visit an asylum seekers' detention centre, deal with the sleazy Edinburgh underworld, and maybe even fall in love...Siobhan meanwhile has problems of her own. A teenager has disappeared and Siobhan must help the family, which means getting close to a convicted rapist. Then there's the small matter of the two skeletons found buried beneath a cellar floor in Fleshmarket Close. An elaborate stunt - but whose, and for what purpose? And how can it tie to the murder on the housing-scheme known as Knoxland?