Albert Blaney, a.k.a. The Surgeon, is Scotland's most notorious gangster, boasting a treacherous past and considering a dubious future. Having spilled his life story onto the pages of a bestselling memoir, Albert must now live in tense anticipation as he waits for his revengeful enemies to hunt him down. But after a lifetime of irrational activity, he can't be certain who he has angered and who to look out for.
As his journey sparks off a host of extraordinary memories, Albert recalls how the innocent boy became the hardened criminal, how his parents' fragile relationship fuelled those first dangerous acts of in difference and how, through what he views as his one true talent, he became deeply and irrevocably involved with Glasgow's sinister underworld.
Now Albert must return to Glasgow for the funeral of his mother, unsure as to how violent will be his homecoming 'welcome' . . .