This is a graphic novel that fits in with the Batman R.I.P, The Black Glove and the Resurrection of Ra's Al Ghul so if you haven't read any of these titles, it is worth picking them up to get an idea of how the plot has led you to the events in this book. It helps that Tony S. Daniels has been involved with all the above mentioned books, and this helps to give you the impression that there is continuity.
In this scenario Batman/Bruce Wayne is dead and Gotham is consuming itself in a crime wave as the criminals look to take advantage of the lack of a saviour/protector of the the city of Gotham. The simple solution? Gotham needs the Batman back - and fast! There are three real contenders for this position - Nightwing, Tim Drake and Jason Todd, but who, if any will be able to step into the shoes of Bruce Wayne? As a nice subplot Vicki Vale returns to her journalistic roots and starts to investigate Bruce Wayne - why is he always unavailable, or drawn away at the last minute? From the criminal side of things, we also get to see The Penguin, Two-Face and the Black Mask.
This is a tight, well-editted book and one well worth adding to your collection if you have enjoyed the recent books in the Batman universe. The main storyline and subplots are well thought out, and the artwork throughout is very good. There are some nice set pieces too, and some winks and nods for the regular fans to pick up on.
I enjoyed this immensely, and hope that we get to see more of this storyline in a follow up. Until then - don't hesitate! Buy this now, and you won't be disappointed - it doesn't quite reach the heights of some of the best titles out there (like The Dark Knight Returns, Killing Joke, Year One etc...) but it isn't far behind - hence the 4 star rating (i would have given it 4.5 if i could!!)
As a quick aside - there have been similar stories written before, and the main one to have a look at would be Batman:Prodigal, where Dick Grayson (aka Nightwing) takes on the mantle in Bruce Wayne's absence.