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Fleshmarket Alley (Inspector Rebus #15)

3.97  ·  Rating Details ·  7,095 Ratings  ·  278 Reviews
American title for "Fleshmarket Close."

#1 international bestseller Ian Rankin sends Inspector John Rebus into the dark streets of Edinburgh's flesh trade when a shocking murder exposes an even more sinister underworld.

Inspector John Rebus has confronted Edinburgh's most hardened criminals, its bloodiest crime scenes, and its most dangerous backstreets--but nothing could p

Paperback, 576 pages
Published February 1st 2006 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 10, 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
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 .
Mar 27, 2008 Guy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 03, 2013 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
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
Shirley Schwartz
Sep 20, 2015 Shirley Schwartz rated it really liked it
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
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
Aug 25, 2009 Pamela rated it really liked it
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
Feb 14, 2016 Ron 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 (
Kristi Lamont
Nov 09, 2014 Kristi Lamont rated it really liked it
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!
Apr 27, 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.
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 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 21, 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.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 24, 2007 Nathanielk rated it it was ok
Oddly cliche'd for an author who is one of the best mystery writers in the world.
Derek Collett
I've long been interested in how one's mood at the time can affect what one is reading, often in a very adverse way. I read Evelyn Waugh for the first time in the late 1980s when, to coin a hated modern expression, I was 'not in a good place'. It went straight over my head: I didn't enjoy Decline and Fall or Vile Bodies and couldn't see what everyone else saw in Waugh. Fast forward a few years: I reread those same novels, loved them and have been enjoying Waugh's work ever since. Like I said, mo ...more
Paula Dembeck
Jul 17, 2016 Paula Dembeck rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the next installment in the John Rebus Detective Series, Rankin places his protagonist once again in the context of current social issues, this time exploring complex questions of immigration, racial discrimination and asylum seekers.

The CID is in the midst of a re-organization and John Rebus and Siobhan Clarke have been shipped out of their offices in St Leonard’s. They have been reassigned to Gayfield Square located in a more upscale neighbor near New Town. This is a different environment
Feb 16, 2017 Alex rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, rebus
Fun fact: this is the very first Rebus I ever read, way back in the day. Given how close it is to the initial end of the series, how developed the characters are, how divergent Rebus and Siobhan are, and how pruney Cafferty is, I'm surprised I didn't run away at the time.

This is good, overtly political, Rebus, with one of those endings that ties things up without being too neat about it. It must be nice to have a job where you never actually have to be at your desk, ever.
Henry Northcott
Jan 22, 2017 Henry Northcott rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First Rebus story I've read

Interestingly enough I had never read any of Ian Rankin's novel's until I bumped into him on holiday,so I was intrigued. I had heard of him,I think you'd have to have been under a rock not to know who he is,but I have truly enjoyed reading this book. I can recommend it as an enjoyable,thoughtful read .
Nicky Triggs
Jan 10, 2017 Nicky Triggs rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first Rebus I have read and won't be my last. I was impressed by the style, attention to detail and well formed characters. The plot was not predictable and addressed modern issues rather than just being a 'who dunnit'. It was an easy read.
Barry Bridges
Feb 24, 2017 Barry Bridges rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
Rankin and Rebus never let you down. This being the fifteenth outing for Edinburgh's finest and he's still the same character, which is comforting. DS Clarke has become the significant "other", helping to lead the multiple threads that connect the whole. Another satisfying novel.
John Williams
Jan 21, 2017 John Williams rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Vintage Rebus

All the essential elements of the Rebus genre with the added topically that is Ian Rankin's trademark.. Another great read.
Jan 19, 2017 R L MAPP rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Like it is!

Is this why we do what we do.
Little and not enough.
Still finding ways to shut and confine innocents.
Joe Price
Feb 24, 2017 Joe Price rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
I have enjoyed all of the Rebus books. I have read up to number 19. This one was particularly interesting.
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Best Inspector Rebus novel for a movie 2 12 May 30, 2013 02:43AM  
  • Ruling Passion (Dalziel & Pascoe, #3)
  • Blind Eye (Logan McRae, #5)
  • Aftermath (Inspector Banks, #12)
  • Service of All the Dead (Inspector Morse, #4)
  • The Fire Engine That Disappeared  (Martin Beck, #5)
  • Slip of the Knife (Paddy Meehan, #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 21 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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“The man called Gareth was laughing into his mobile phone as the door opened. There were gold rings on each of his fingers, chains dangling from his neck and wrists. He wasn’t tall but he was wide. Rebus got the impression much of it was fat. A gut hung over his waistband. He was balding badly, and had allowed what hair he had to grow uncut, so that it hung down to the back of his collar and beyond. He wore a black leather trenchcoat and black T-shirt, with baggy denims and scuffed trainers. He already had his free hand out for the cash, wasn’t expecting another hand to grab it and haul him inside the flat. He dropped the phone, swearing and finally taking note of Rebus.” 0 likes
“was still a fine, persistent drizzle. There was a word in Scots for it—“smirr.” 0 likes
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