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Fleshmarket Alley: An Inspector Rebus Novel (Inspector Rebus #15)

3.96  ·  Rating Details  ·  6,374 Ratings  ·  258 Reviews
An illegal immigrant is found murdered in an Edinburgh housing scheme. Rebus is drawn into the case, but has other problems: his old police station has closed for business, and his masters would rather he retire than stick around. But as Rebus investigates, he must deal with the sleazy Edinburgh underworld, and maybe even fall in love.
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Published December 1st 2005 by Little, Brown and Company (first published 2004)
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James Thane
This is another moody, atmospheric tale from Ian Rankin that examines the dark underside of contemporary Scottish society. As much by accident as anything else, Inspector John Rebus becomes involved in the investigation of the murder of a Kurdish immigrant who is knifed to death in a depressing housing complex. The place is a seething cauldron of hate, resentment and racism. Nobody trusts the police; no one wants to cooperate with the investigation, and only Rebus's determined efforts will keep ...more
Jun 13, 2009 L rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I love Ian Rankin. His novels are about character, about Scotland, about issues. Mysteries serve as the framework for some serious substance and glorious, gripping writing.

This novel is about murder and detecting, about relationships between detectives and other, of course, but also about exploitation of undocumented immigrants--in Scotland, mind. It's dark, of course. A few examples of what Rankin has to say and why his writing is irresistible, keeping me up late no matter the time for which I
Shirley Schwartz
Sep 24, 2015 Shirley Schwartz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is number 15 in this much-beloved series. I have enjoyed each and every one of the previous books in the series. Rebus is a character that is so realistic that I can't help thinking that if I walk into the Oxford Bar I'll see him there drinking a whiskey and smoking a cigarette. That is Ian Rankin's gift-drawing realistic, three-dimensional characters and crafting very tricky mysteries around them. In this book Rebus is working with another DI. The body of a young immigrant man was found i ...more
Craig Pittman
Jul 19, 2015 Craig Pittman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would've liked this book to be leaner, but I understand why Ian Rankin wrote it to be more than 400 pages long. In this aptly titled novel, Rankin's cranky detective, John Rebus, and sometime partner Siobhan Clark, delve into the business of human trafficking. Rankin clearly spent a lot of time researching the issue of illegal immigration, and a lot of what he found out wound up in the book. As a result, the plot starts pretty slowly, but by the last 100 pages or so it's going at a gallop.

Apr 22, 2009 Helena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: detective novel lovers
I cant expalain why I have loved his books so much but like millions of others I have.It is wonderful to be so impressed with the writing of an author who is truly a really nice guy .
Sep 29, 2014 Lori rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction
Another enjoyable story out of the Inspector Rebus series. As always, Ian Rankin entertains with a series of puzzlers in and around a dark and brooding Edinburgh. Mysteries include the murder of a Turkish asylum seeker, a missing teenage girl, a recently paroled rapist and a pair of skeletons found in the cellars of a bar on Fleshmarket Close. The seedy side of Edinburgh is at it's best in this one as Siobhan and Rebus, relocated from their old stomping grounds of St. Leonard's, become entangled ...more
Rosalind Mitchell
It's annoying when titles get changed when books and films cross the Atlantic. It's baffling why Fleshmarket Close became Fleshmarket Alley in the US; American readers should feel cheated! Fleshmarket Close is a real Edinburgh thoroughfare, right by the North Bridge and Waverley Station. Fleshmarket Alley isn't. Fleshmarket Close also has a symbolic meaning; at the core of this book is the exploitation of illegal immigrants.

It's been sitting on my shelf for years, waiting for me to catch up with
Stephanie Taylor-baptiste
Every now and then I like to interrupt my usual literary druthers with a nice mindless mystery/thriller. I find I have been discontent with the books I have been reading lately and needed something light and good to recharge. So I drafted Ian Rankin novelist-distractionaire for this task, and Rankin’s Fleshmarket Close did just that.

Carrying on his Detective Rebus series, Rankin begins his story with a man found stabbed in a dodgy area of Edinburgh. The victim, a refugee with several stab wounds
Aug 25, 2009 Pamela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first taste of Ian Rankin. I can appreciate why he is rated so highly. I read it in two sittings. The Mystery/Detective/Police Procedural genre is so overstocked with cliched characters, unbelievable plots and sloppy prose that it is a treat to encounter a writer who depicts a world that is actually recognizable, and in prose that doesn't have one groaning. Minette Walters is a similar treat.

In Fleshmarket Alley, Rankin exposes the harsh realities faced by refugees and asylum seekers living i
Bookmarks Magazine

In Fleshmarket Alley (after 2004's A Question of Blood, ***1/2 May/June 2004, and the Edgar Award-winning Resurrection Men), Rankin deals with horrific subjects: illegal immigration, racism, political asylum, bureaucracy, detention housing, and a networked criminal underworld. Described as "the Dickens of Edinburgh," Rankin explores the city's fleshmarket__the trade in humans and plight of asylum seekers. His expertly plotted crimes come together as usual, and their confluence provides some of t

Richard Katz
This book likely deserves more than 3 stars and like most bad teachers, I use a separate scale for my gifted ones. Ian Rankin is of course among my favorite authors, so each book of his I read, I expect to wow me. This one did not. I enjoyed it, particularly for the believable struggle between Rebus and Siobban as they push and pull between togetherness and separateness. I am also reminded that I (maybe all of us) are too much like Rebus for comfort. I especially think of this as I transition fr ...more
Kristi Lamont
Nov 09, 2014 Kristi Lamont rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Trying to put my finger on why this particular Rebus book seemed more enjoyable than the last few. I think it was because the pacing was faster and the plot a little less convoluted. The interactions between all the characters seemed more believable, too. If real life didn't beckon, I'd pick up the next one immediately!
May 14, 2016 RJ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: u-k, crime-fiction
Convoluted tale of two mysterious skeletons and trouble at a housing estate full of illegal aliens. New "friends" for Rebus and Siobhan Clarke (who has a prime role once again). Rankin shows Rebus becoming more isolated as he ages; the job and visits to the Oxford Bar seemingly all he has. That and his submerged feelings for Siobhan.

Rankin must have been trying to get in good with his newfound left wing literary pals; a long bit of moralizing in the middle turned me off. Rankin always sprinkles
Um imigrante ilegal é encontrado morto em um cortiço de Edimburgo. Se a primeira suspeita é de um ataque racista, logo a situação se prova mais complicada. É o que o departamento de polícia precisa para arrastar o inspetor John Rebus para o caso. Não que a vida no trabalho ande fácil, com seus novos chefes em campanha por uma aposentadoria precoce do investigador.

So far, the best book of this series.

4* Resurrection Men (Inspector Rebus, #13)
3* Strip Jack (Inspector Rebus, #4)
3* The Black Book (
The Rebus novels are not easy reads. John Rebus is an agitator: cranky, angry, rebellious. But these books always satisfy, always scratch that itch you didn't even know you had. And this installment is particularly satisfying.
Nov 07, 2014 Sally rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The whole plot made me deeply uncomfortable because it is so pertinent to the current state of play. Asylum seekers come here because we have led them to believe that we are the greatest country in the world, except that we lied but they couldn't have known that until they arrived and found themselves less than welcome. When will we get our heads around the fact that they are not the cause of every problem that we have and stop abusing them, using them as slaves and generally scapegoating them. ...more
Rebecca Alcazaze
Sep 10, 2015 Rebecca Alcazaze rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book strangely outdated considering it was published in 2004. References to floppy discs, modes of dress for the sub working class characters that were cliched and symbolic of the 90s as well as the implied narrator's repeated use of the terms 'coloured' and 'chinaman' made it all a bit jarring.

That said, I appreciate that people love this stuff and I found the first 100 pages or so sped by at a good pace as I enjoyed acquainting myself with Rankin's landscape. Sadly, by the time I
Nov 08, 2015 J rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
BEWARE: One man's bookflap summary may be another man's spoiler.

I love, love, love Ian Rankin. Since I pick up his books at second-hand stores, I have to read them out of order. And since I've been reading him for a while, there are few if any of his titles I still haven't read.

You can imagine my delight then at finally finding "Fleshmarket Alley."

This story begins with a little macabre incident -- human bones found during the renovation of a bar. But they're not murder bones, just forensic bone
May 27, 2014 Sam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So, DI Rebus and DS Clarke are no longer at St Leonards, they are now at Gayfield Square and they don't feel entirely as though they fit in. Feeling out of place leads them both, separately, to investigate cases lead by other detectives. For Rebus, the stabbing of an immigrant in a less than salubrious scheme, for Siobahn, the missing daughter of a couple she has helped before and the brutal murder of a recently released convicted rapist, at the same time, both end up looking at a pair of skelet ...more
Peter Kobryn
Feb 07, 2016 Peter Kobryn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction
Written in 2004 this latest book of the Rebus series that I have had the pleasure of reading has a number of themes highly relevant to the U.K. in 2016.

Moved from their usual station because of reorganizations in the force Rebus and Clarke find themselves as seemingly less than welcome guests at a city centre police station.

While attempting to fit in (or not in Rebus’ case) they find themselves drawn into two seemingly different crimes which are actually closely entwined.

The murder of a young
May 07, 2008 Clare rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Halfway through I realised I had read this book last year (obviously not very thoroughly) but I do enjoy Ian Rankin's writing and he captures the Scottish language very well. He is also good at intricate plotlines and believable characters. A satisfying read.
May 31, 2015 Jeanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
John Rebus gets a bit more likable with each new book. First, a body turns up in a housing complex. The man has no identification. Next, 2 skeletons turn up in a basement. Then a couple ask for Siobhan's help finding their missing daughter. And of course, all things are connected. And Big Ger Cafferty is also behind the scenes even though he's hardly in the book at all.

There's a ring of people smuggling refugees. A couple of small time thugs making pornography. John befriends an artist who spen
Nov 29, 2008 Neptunem rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of a series of mysteries set in Edinburgh. The chief detectives are great fun and the stories not totally predictable.
Apr 27, 2009 Rita rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very tangled story. I can usually guess whodunnit but I was mystified this time. Really good read.
Mark Edlund
Apr 28, 2014 Mark Edlund rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mystery series
I love finding out about a different author, especially one with many other books to read so I don't have to wait a long time for the new book to come out. I bought this trade paperback in Amsterdam at the Konigsdaag celebration to give me something to read on the plane. And I am glad I did. It is read out of order but I can now go back and found out more about Rebus and his partner, Siobhan. He sets a great atmosphere in Edinburgh with lots of complex characters.
Canadian referenc
Oddly cliche'd for an author who is one of the best mystery writers in the world.
Judith Shadford
For all the high-powered reviews, my first Rankin novel was a bit of a letdown. Yes, well enough done. Certainly highly skilled in weaving together nearly a half-dozen sub plots into a cohesive story without stalling or showing its seams--that was really well done. But the crusty guy detective who drinks and smokes too much, with the female partner who mostly drinks sodas and doesn't smoke at all, each slightly jealous of the other's amours--seems dreadfully predictable. Setting was OK, but no s ...more
James Korsmo
Jun 09, 2014 James Korsmo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Two mysterious skeletons are unearthed beneath a pub in Edinburough's "Fleshmarket" district. Elsewhere, scandalous things are happening behind the walls of an immigrant "detention" facility. And DI Rebus and DS Clarke are called on to investigate. They find themselves caught up in deep tensions surrounding immigrants in the community and an investigation involving human trafficking. I'd give this book a solid 3.5 to 4 stars. It's a well-wrought mystery, and DI Rebus makes for an interesting pro ...more
Mar 10, 2016 Susie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I have to admit that sometimes I will listen to a book just to hear a specific reader. Michael Page, narrator of the Inspector John Rebus books by Ian Rankin is a favorite of mine. The books take place in “the dark heart of contemporary Scotland”, so it is the Scottish accent that so intrigues and engages me, as well as the story.

Fleshmarket Alley is the 15th installment of the Inspector John Rebus mystery novels. (Although each book can be read as a stand-along novel, a reader might wish to beg
Ian Mapp
Oct 19, 2012 Ian Mapp rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
So thats the end of the rebus series. Started on Alexs 4th Birthday and finished just before his 8th.

What must Rankin think. Should he kill Rebus off.... but where would that leave him? The storys are all merging into one now and no matter how well written they are - you know exactly what you are going to get. Or is that the point?

References to identifyable edinburgh locations (although there is a made up estate) an increasingly marginalised Rebus - now ready for retirement and without a desk in
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Best Inspector Rebus novel for a movie 2 12 May 30, 2013 02:43AM  
  • Piece of My Heart (Inspector Banks, #16)
  • An April Shroud (Dalziel & Pascoe, #4)
  • Flesh House (Logan McRae, #4)
  • Service of All the Dead (Inspector Morse, #4)
  • Rounding the Mark (Inspector Montalbano, #7)
AKA Jack Harvey.

Born in the Kingdom of Fife in 1960, Ian Rankin graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1982 and then spent three years writing novels when he was supposed to be working towards a PhD in Scottish Literature. His first Rebus novel was published in 1987; the Rebus books are now translated into 22 languages and are bestsellers on several continents.

Ian Rankin has been elected a
More about Ian Rankin...

Other Books in the Series

Inspector Rebus (1 - 10 of 20 books)
  • Knots and Crosses (Inspector Rebus, #1)
  • Hide and Seek (Inspector Rebus, #2)
  • Tooth and Nail (Inspector Rebus, #3)
  • Strip Jack (Inspector Rebus, #4)
  • The Black Book (Inspector Rebus, #5)
  • Mortal Causes (Inspector Rebus, #6)
  • Let It Bleed (Inspector Rebus, #7)
  • Black and Blue (Inspector Rebus, #8)
  • The Hanging Garden (Inspector Rebus, #9)
  • Dead Souls (Inspector Rebus, #10)

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“was still a fine, persistent drizzle. There was a word in Scots for it—“smirr.” 0 likes
“They parked in a pay-bay on George Square and walked through the gardens, emerging in front of the university library. Most of the buildings here had gone up in the 1960s, and Rebus hated them: blocks of sand-colored concrete replacing the square's original eighteenth-century town houses. Rows of treacherous steps, and a notorious wind-tunnel effect which could blow over the unwary on the wrong day. Students walked between the buildings, hugging books and folders in front of them. Some stood and chatted in groups.

"Bloody students," was Wylie's concise summing-up of the situation.”
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