He is put with a team of officers in similar circumstances and together they are given an unsolved case to work on. This turns out to be one in which many of the team are already involved, and they all have their own secrets that they wish to keep hidden. Rebus is asked to act as a go-between for Edinburgh gangster 'Big Ger' Cafferty, and newly promoted DS Siobhan Clarke, while working the case of the murdered art dealer, is brought closer to Cafferty than she ever expected.
As always the cases are all linked and Rebus must use his trusted friends to uncover the truth before the truth uncovers him.
The title is a reference to the body-snatchers of the 19th century, who were known as 'resurrectionists' or 'resurrection men'.