This is the 6th of Ian Rankin's Inspector Rebus series that I've read and it is first rate storytelling all the way. While some books are better than others, as a whole, I give this series 5 stars. The language is straight-forward yet so eloquent in its simplicity and vividly captures the underside of Edinburgh. Having once visited Edinburgh, it's interesting to read about this side of the city at the same time as associating with the landmarks, streets and locations that I saw as a tourist. Inspector John Rebus as the protagonist is the key factor in the series' success -- a flawed character, dark and troubled, whose personal life is a mess and who pushes the limits professionally -- but entirely credible and entirely committed to ridding his city of the lowlifes who degrade it. Warts and all, Rebus is likeable and holds the reader's sympathy and respect. By this point, many series start showing signs of fatigue and waning quality, Patricia Cornwell's Kay Scarpetta series being a case in point. This series only seems to get better.