The Thirteenth Step is an episode from series 23 that first aired on 17 January 2007.

Plot synopsisEdit

Ex-con Eddie Monroe is found stabbed in a Govan alleyway. Burke meets Angus Ford - a retired police officer who was responsible for Monroe's arrest and subsequent convictions - who remains adamant that Monroe was a bad man who deserved to die. But who was his killer?

Full plot synopsisEdit

When local hard man Eddie Monroe is found stabbed to death in an alleyway and his jewellery and money are missing, DCI Burke and the team suspect a mugging gone wrong.

The victim turns out to be on parole after serving time for dealing heroin, put in jail by a familiar face from DCI Burke’s past - Angus Ford. Ford, a retired cop, has had many run-ins with Burke’s alcoholic dad, which he taunts Burke with whenever he can.

Ford points the team towards Monroe’s old gang from his school days - Daniel Tulloch and Iain Gallen. But, when his old school friends are traced, they deny any knowledge of his presence in town. With no leads, no suspects and DCI Burke struggling to deal with old demons, the team start to worry. But when forensic evidence proves that Monroe knew his killer everyone becomes a suspect.

Gallen reveals that Monroe was never a drug dealer but was put in jail by Ford after being set up. Ford is obviously not the honest cop he pretends to be.

Pamphlets in Monroe’s house lead DS Reid and DI Ross to the local church where they discover that Monroe was, in fact, a member of Alcoholic Anonymous. When the leader of the group refuses to compromise the group’s anonymity, DCI Burke infiltrates the group and soon discovers Tulloch knew of Monroe’s whereabouts all along.

But Burke’s issues with Ford start to cloud his judgment and when Iain Gallen is found stabbed to death with Ford standing over him, Burke sees it as his chance for revenge…


Matthew Burke - Alex Norton

Robbie Ross - John Michie

Jackie Reid - Blythe Duff

Stuart Fraser - Colin McCredie