The story is simple enough. Batman's police ally Gordon is set up and is framed for the murder of Rachel Hollingsworth, after he is drugged at a boat party. The corrupt mayor, who has ties with the dead girl, blames Gordon's drinking problems and paints him up as a killer cop.
Thus, the entire story is more about how ex-cop Gordon has to clear his name. Even thought Batman does play a role in it, he is obviously not the main character. As a true lover of noir, this reader found Gotham - set in the dark and grimy atmosphere associated with the genre - to be the most appealing part of the novel. The artwork complements the writing and the Bat is depicted as a blurry shape in the darkness. The disappointing bit is that the story didn't stray far from any other clichéd noir story. Cop/Hero falls in love/given duty to take care of beautiful lady with elegant dress. Cop/Hero is framed, runs from police, shoots everything in path to clear his name/save his family/save his love.
However, Ed Brubaker does make up for his clichéd storyline by adding tidbits from Batman's original story. He uses Harvey Dent and shows him to be the helpful and resourceful DA he was before he turned into Two-Face. He also depicts Selina (Catwoman) as a close friend of Gordon. The most interesting bit of the story was that somehow he managed to include The Joker in it, too. Even though his character's inclusion is short lived, The Joker still plays a part in the story.
A must read for all Batman fans. Should be an entertaining read for non-fans, as well.