In Europe, the Americans are pulling out their troops in a tide of isolationism.
Britain, torn between loyalties to America and the continent, is caught betwixt and between.
In America, a space shuttle crashes on landing, killing all but one of the crew on-board: A British man named Mike Dreyfuss, who will become vilified by the US press and protesters.
Halfway across the world, Martin Hepton, an English ground control technician watches as they lose contact with the most advanced satellite in Europe. A colleague of Hepton's who suspects something strange is going on is signed off sick, and never comes back.
Hepton decides to investigate his friend's suspicions and his trail leads him to Dreyfuss, the MI6, the American military, and back to his former girlfriend, Jill, who is an up-and-coming journalist with the contacts and the courage to cover the story.
But there is much more at stake than anyone realises - and many more people on their trail than they can possibly evade...
AUTHOR: Born in the Kingdom of Fife in 1960, Ian Rankin graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1982, and then spent three years writing novels when he was supposed to be working towards a PhD in Scottish Literature. His first Rebus novel was published in 1987, and the Rebus books are now translated into thirty-six languages and are bestsellers worldwide.Ian Rankin has been elected a Hawthornden Fellow, and is also a past winner of the Chandler-Fulbright Award. He is the recipient of four CWA Daggers including the prestigious Diamond Dagger in 2005. In 2004, Ian won America's celebrated Edgar Award. He has also been shortlisted for the Anthony Award in the USA, won Denmark's Palle Rosenkrantz Prize, the French Grand Prix du Roman Noir and the Deutscher Krimipreis. Ian Rankin is also the recipient of honorary degrees from the universities of Abertay, St Andrews, Edinburgh, Hull and the Open University.A contributor to BBC2's Newsnight Review, he also presented his own TV series, Ian Rankin's Evil Thoughts. Rankin is a No.1 bestseller in the UK and has received the OBE for services to literature, opting to receive the prize in his home city of Edinburgh, where he lives with his partner and two sons. www.ianrankin.net Twitter @Beathhigh