This is book number 3 in the Inspector Rebus Mysteries series.
"In Rankin, you cannot go wrong." --The Boston Globe
"A superior series." --The New York Times Book Review
"Reading Ian Rankin] is like watching somebody juggle a dozen bottles of single malt without spilling a drop." --Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Five years ago, a mysterious fire burned Edinburgh's seedy Central Hotel to ashes. Long-forgotten and unsolved, the case reappears when a charred body--with a bullet in its head--is found among the ruins. Inspector John Rebus knows that his superiors would prefer he leave things alone. He knows that part of the answer lies somewhere in a cryptic black notebook. And he knows that to solve the case, he'll have to peel back layer after layer of unspeakable secrets to arrive at the truth.