This starts off as what seems to be a run of the mill 70s Glasgow police procedural. It is John's first week in CID, where the other officers make Gene Hunt look like a by the book type of policeman. A lad has been murdered on the street by a gang of yobs and the cops think it's an easy case.
Whilst the language in the scenes at the police station is the worst you can read, this story moves away from there. The basis of the story is a boy's death, but the heart of the story is John's developing relationship with the boy's father, Francis. In fact the story spans decades and becomes gentler as it goes on and John's career develops.
When I first looked at this book I wasn't sure I fancied it, but I was recommended it and as I read more and more, I didn't want to put it down. The relationship between John and Francis as Francis teaches John to be an expert craftsman was very heartwarming. I really enjoyed this story, it had heart in a cruel world and was well told.