He has moved into an apartment in Dublin's city centre, leaving behind his family home: he wants to break free of the ghosts of his own past, to live in the teeming present. But if that's what he wants for his own life, it's not always what his clients will permit: the baggage they bring with him propel him relentlessly into past.
The police are working along similar lines with their new Cold Case unit. Looking back over a fifteen-year-old murder, they are satisfied by their original findings - but not so Loy. He has been hired by the victim's daughter to investigate the suspects ignored by the first investigation: a rich property developer, an ex-IRA man and Loy's own nemesis, George Halligan.
But Loy has to watch his back: in the murky world into which he has fallen, he can't tell which threats come from the IRA and which from the police protecting their old case. Can Loy persuade his longstanding friend DI Dave Donnelly to help solve the Fogarty case, or does he have to rely on the murderous George Halligan? Does it all go back to the IRA? Are the men who gave the commands now respectable citizens?
In his toughest case yet, Ed Loy delves into the dirty side of life in the new Ireland, where progress comes at a price and no one is free of their past.