ITV1: The Naming Of The Dead: Friday 19 October

Friday 19 October 2007 9:00pm – 10:30pm on ITV1.

Edinburgh is in the midst of the build-up to the world trade summit with demonstrations and protestors in abundance. Despite this, Rebus (Ken Stott) has managed to wangle a day off. He heads into the pub to meet his journalist friend Mickey (Jimmy Yuill) for a pre-football pint. However, a phone-call from DS Siobhan Clarke (Claire Price) bursts their bubble, and Rebus is forced to leave a disappointed Mickey behind as he departs for a murder scene.

An unidentified body has been discovered in the grounds of Macintosh House Hotel, the venue where the summit talks are to take place. As Rebus and Siobhan begin their preliminary investigations, they are interrupted by the arrival of Commander Steelforth (Nicholas Jones). Steelforth is heading up the SO12 unit providing security for the summit, and as such is unhappy to find a murder victim in such close proximity to the venue. He and Rebus immediately clash over the running of the case and he tries, unsuccessfully, to persuade Rebus to shut down the crime scene until the talks are over.

However, this body proves to be the least of Steelforth’s worries, when a suspicious death occurs at Edinburgh Castle. Development minister Ben Webster is found beneath the castle ramparts after a ministerial dinner – but did he jump or was he pushed? Steelforth informs Rebus that the castle’s CCTV system is down, and all lines of inquiry seem to be covered. Steelforth suggests that Rebus sticks to identifying the victim from earlier in the day, and leaves this case to his officers. Rebus is convinced Steelforth is hiding something, and spurred on by reports that Webster cried out as he fell, he hot-foots it to the Balmoral hotel where Webster was staying.

With SO12 already in Webster’s room, there’s no chance of gaining access, but a few words with the receptionist reveal that a company called Pennen Industries was footing the bill for his suite.

Back in the pub, Mickey gives him the low-down on Pennen, an arms company which has forged strong links with the government with Webster was their key liaison. Rebus begins to suspect that Webster may have been involved in some dodgy arms trading with Pennen. At the mortuary, Rebus meets Stacy Webster (Julie Graham), Ben’s sister, who has formally identified his body. Initially she seems wary of him and is unwilling to talk, but they soon establish a tentative friendship.

Meanwhile, after tracing some clothing found at the scene of crime to an Edinburgh garage, Siobhan identifies the murder victim as Trevor Guest and sets about discovering why someone would want to him dead. A visit to Guest’s wife on the bleak Craigmillar estate sheds little light.

Leaving the pub that evening, having arranged to meet Stacy, Rebus is manhandled into an unmarked van by a group of SO12 officers. He’s convinced that Steelforth has sanctioned this bizarre arrest, but is powerless to retaliate.

On hearing that Webster’s body has been released for burial, Rebus tracks Stacy down to the church where she’s saying her goodbyes to her brother. Made vulnerable by the situation, she confides in him and they share a moment, both lost souls. They sleep together that night but Rebus is surprised to wake up and find her gone. He’s even more puzzled when she’s absent from the funeral later that day.

Forced by Steelforth and CSI Templer (Jennifer Black) to abandon the Webster case, Rebus diverts all his energies into helping Siobhan with the Guest investigation. As he delves further into Guest’s past, he begins to suspect that there may be a connection between his murder and a brutal killing in the coastal town of Gullane five years previously. With tensions running high, a shocking revelation causes Rebus to question his interminable desire to uncover the truth and ultimately he is forced to acknowledge that sometimes it’s the last thing even he wants to hear.

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