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Janet Maslin… with the yen for overcomplication that also has him frequently citing obscure Scottish rock bands, Mr. Rankin throws in the imminent release from prison of a notorious rapist and the discovery of skeletons in the alley of the title. Exhuming those bones leads Rebus and the reader into intricate connections among the various plot threads. But as is often the case with Mr. Rankin's books, the story is secondary to the pleasure of Rebus's company. Even though he has lately discovered text messaging ("fancy a drink i am in the ox," he writes from the Oxford Bar, one of his haunts), he remains a gruff, attractive throwback to gumshoes gone by.
— The New York Times