As the authors write in their preface: "Summarizing the state of the art in Linked Data was a job that needed doing" - and Tom Heath together with Chris Bizer have definitely done a great job in writing an eminently practical synopsis of the state of the art in the field. They start by positioning Linked Data in the bigger picture of the WWW and its evolution from a web of documents to a global data space that contains not only genuine web resources - "information resources" in the W3C lingo - but also "non information resources", things in the 'real' world (i. e. the one outside the web) and which can be represented in the WWW, identified by uniform identifiers (URIs) and linked to other resources by 'typed' links which give information regarding the link 'semantics' that can be processed by machines. After thus positioning Linked Data in this nutshell vision of the evolution of WWW architecture and giving a thorough introduction to RDF as the key standard the authors spend the rest of the 136 pages discussing design issues (chapter 4), on giving recipes as to how to publish data according to the linked data principles (chapter 5) and on how to consume such data from the web (chapter 6) that turns into one huge, integrated data space supported by open, community-driven standards this way. Numerous examples are given throughout the whole book, making it a very useful and relatively concise tutorial covering a complex and quickly evolving field.
At the time of writing this review, the book can be appraised as the reference to all practical issues of the field: a 'must read' for anyone wishing to implement or to use linked data or simply wishing to understand the technical reality of what risks to degenerate into a technical buzzword.
The one question Bizer and Heath have consistently avoided is the (non-technical) issue of the 'openness' of Linked Data: does Linked Data necessarily imply 'Linked Open Data'? The purely technical answer is "no" - and the authors restrict themselves to this technical answer, which probably again is a virtue rather than a deficit, thus retaining the authoritative potential of their book which remains useful for the proponents of Linked Open Data and for those implementing 'Linked Data behind a Firewall' alike.
I recommend this book without reservation and will be glad to use it in my lectures and courses at Humboldt University zu Berlin!