Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Fleshmarket Alley: An Inspector Rebus Novel” as Want to Read:
Fleshmarket Alley: An Inspector Rebus Novel
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  5,506 ratings  ·  233 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.
ebook, 0 pages
Published December 1st 2005 by Little, Brown and Company (first published 2004)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Fleshmarket Alley, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Fleshmarket Alley

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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
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
Apr 22, 2009 Helena rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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 .
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
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
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
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!
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 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 begin the Rebus adventure with Knots
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
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
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
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.
This is one of a series of mysteries set in Edinburgh. The chief detectives are great fun and the stories not totally predictable.
A very tangled story. I can usually guess whodunnit but I was mystified this time. Really good read.
Mark Edlund
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
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
Ian Mapp
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
One of the great attractions of Ian Rankin's Inspector Rebus series is that the stories deal with real issues of modern life. The central issue here is desperate immigrants from many hotspots in the world who make their way to Britain's shores, and particularly to Rebus' Scotland, to try to find asylum and to make a life for themselves and their families. They are easy prey for those who would take advantage of their desperate situation to make a profit for themselves or for their own carnal ple ...more
Wat populariteit betreft is Ian Rankin de onbetwiste Pieter Aspe van de Britse misdaadliteratuur. Hij is de hipste, de bekendste, de best verkopende. Naar verluidt gaan van elke nieuwe roman meteen zo’n 500.000 stuks over de toonbank en is zijn Rebus-reeks alleen al goed voor 10% van de verkoop van de Britse crime lit. Het opmerkelijke is dat populariteit hand in hand blijft gaan met kwaliteit. Hoewel het niet allemaal meesterwerken zijn en de boeken hier en daar wel sporen vertonen van routine, ...more
Joyce Lagow
Another in the Inspector Rebus series.[return][return] Due to reorganization of his old precinct, Rebus and other St. Leonard's CID personnel have been reassigned; he and Siobhan Clarke are now operating out of Gayfield Square and find themselves in new territory. The central plot concerns the murder of an asylum seeker in an Edinburg housing project that has become housing predominantly for immigrants, many of them probably illegal; the murder is being treated as a race crime and Rebus is the o ...more

Summary –

A pair of skeletons revealed under the concrete slab of a pub, a dead immigrant, a missing young woman, a dead rapist, a Glasgow thug operating a nightclub in Edinburgh – so many disparate threads, each one proving to be elusive. So it is up to Rebus and Siobhan to try to unravel these mysteries, which run parallel and at one point get entangled.

Review –

Rebus is out of St. Leonard’s, his old hunting ground. With the reorganisation of CID, he and hi
Sundarraj Kaushik
The murder of a non-british leads Rebus and his partner Siobhan to the murky tangle of refugees and their exploitation and the xenophobia.

The parents of a rape victim who had committed suicide, in a case that Siobhan had dealt with a few years back come pleading to her to find out the whereabouts of their second daughter.

The incidents continue as skeletons are found in the cellar of a pub, and the rapist of the other daughter who has come out is found murdered.

They are joined by an Immigration O
Diane Dickson
In this book Ian Rankin does not shy away from the unpalatable fact of racism amongst ordinary people and the tensions that this engenders. There is also the element of people trafficking and the plight of those fleeing persecution and danger. There are many old friends here and we meet a couple of new characters who we are not sure that we like until the end and then of course John Rebus shows us that of course we don't like them at all for goodness sake. The developing or not developing relati ...more
In this fifteenth book in the series, Inspector Rebus becomes embroiled in the world of asylum-seeking refugees while investigating a murder. Rankin has made this book a bit of a soap box, focusing on the virulent racism that the new influx of foreigners has brought to the surface in Scotland. A second story line concerns the disappearance of a young woman, and the third revolves around bones unearthed during the remodeling of a pub’s cellar. More murder and mayhem in Scotland.
Neill Smith
When Detective Inspector John Rebus's station loses its CID department he is transferred to a more upscale neighborhood but he finds himself working on an investigation of racial bigotry in a nearby slum. Meanwhile Detective Sergeant Siobhan Clark is drawn into the search for a missing sister by parents of a rape victim she had previously investigated. As the cases progress they converge into an investigation of the exploitation of illegal immigrants, Ulster terrorists, and drug running in local ...more
Jul 19, 2008 Katherine rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes mysteries or Scotland
I just finished this John Rebus mystery. Rebus is my favorite foreign detective, followed by Aurelio Zen, Micheal Dibdin's Roman detective. These guys could be brothers in their approach to solving crime in their respective countries; Rebus in Scotland, Zen in Italy. They are both rumpled and smoke too much and drink too much and can't manage a relationship, although they love and respect women. Although they are the torment of their management, they always get their criminal in the end. When I ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Best Inspector Rebus novel for a movie 2 12 May 30, 2013 02:43AM  
  • Playing With Fire (Inspector Banks, #14)
  • Service of All the Dead (Inspector Morse, #4)
  • Ruling Passion (Dalziel & Pascoe, #3)
  • Flesh House (Logan McRae, #4)
  • The Fire Engine That Disappeared  (Martin Beck #5)
  • Resolution (Garnethill, #3)
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)
Knots and Crosses (Inspector Rebus, #1) Exit Music (Inspector Rebus, #17) Black and Blue (Inspector Rebus, #8) Hide and Seek (Inspector Rebus, #2) Let It Bleed (Inspector Rebus, #7)

Share This Book

“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.”
More quotes…