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Fleshmarket Close

(Inspector Rebus #15)

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  8,927 ratings  ·  368 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.
Hardcover, 399 pages
Published 2004 by Orion
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3.99  · 
Rating details
 ·  8,927 ratings  ·  368 reviews

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Jul 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another Rebus novel .. another look at the underbelly and dark side of Edinburgh.

Three stories.. a case of a missing girl, the murder of an asylum seeker, and a couple of skeletons unearthed from cement in a cellar.

Rebus in my opinion a bit more joyful for some unknown reason investigates the murder of an asylum seeker, and gets his hand on various shady guys who got their fingers in many illegal pies.

Siobhan looks for a lost girl. A sister of a murder victim.. a favour for the family.. an an u
May 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fortunately this book held my attention over a number of days of active travel through the Canadian Rockies and more, with natural beauty taking a starring role. Both Rebus and Siobhan performed above and beyond in their separate yet related investigations of murder and exploitation of immigrants.
Oct 23, 2018 marked it as to-read
This is the Orion UK hardcover of this book.
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 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
Fleshmarket Close is the 15th book in Ian Rankin's Inspector John Rebus mystery series set in Edinburgh. It's the second Rebus book I've read this month, this one even more enjoyable than the previous.

DI Rebus and DS Siobhan Clark, Rebus's partner have been moved to the Gayfield Police sub-station as part of a reallocation of resources in the Edinburgh PD. The story starts with Rebus assisting with a murder of an immigrant in the Knoxland housing development, not technically within Rebus's area
May 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2018, audio-2018
On a notorious street where propriety and decadence clash, in the basement of a newly renovated bar, the bones of a woman and child are discovered beneath a cement floor. It's an unusually gruesome find, even for Fleshmarket Alley. When Inspector John Rebus is called to investigate, every fact he finds unleashes a host of new questions. Are the bones those of a mother and child? Are they actual human remains or fakes? Were they planted there - and if so, why?It could be nothing more than a ruthl ...more
Paul Chafer
May 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best from Ian Rankin dealing with Asylum Seekers, immigration policy, illegal workers, the unscrupulous who take advantage and the effect on the local communities where the newcomers try to integrate, all wrapped with murder and deception. Thoroughly enjoyable.
Craig Pittman
Jul 19, 2015 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.

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
Apr 22, 2009 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 .
Michael Martz
Sep 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved Ian Rankin's 'Fleshmarket Alley' fact, I have probably over-rated it a bit just due to the fact that it was the right book at the right time for me: a whodunnit with great characters and solid police work.

Detective Rebus is one of the great, underrated characters in this genre. He knows his territory (Edinburgh) and its inhabitants like the back of his hand, he comes across to his peers as gruff yet competent, and he has trouble playing nicely with his superiors. Sounds like a bu
A bit too preachy at times, at least for my taste, on the subject of immigration but still a satisfying story.
David Highton
Oct 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The only one of the 'pre-retirement' books which I had not read - classic Rebus and Clarke, outsiders in their new police station, as three different plot lines start to intermingle. Great stuff.
May 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-reads
This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader.
Rebus had never seen children in a mortuary before, and the sight of« fended him. This was a place for professionals, for adults, for the widowed. It was a place for unwelcome truths about the human body. It was the antithesis of childhood.

Then again, what was childhood to the Yurgii children but confusion and desperation?

Which didn’t stop Rebus pinning one of the guards to the wall. physically, of course, not using his hands. But by dint
Mar 03, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Inspector Rebus is caught up in an investigation into a murdered immigrant in a notorious housing complex that is rife with violence and racist confrontations. His friend and fellow officer Siobhan is also involved in the search for a missing girl. In the course of their investigations the uncover a ring of people smugglers and the ripping off of the local housing authority and the involvement of a privately run holding facility for illegal immigrants.
Aug 03, 2013 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
Apr 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edinburgh
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
This is the 15th entry in the series and it shows a great deal of character development for DS Siobhan Clarke, DI John Rebus' protégée, particularly as she relates to Rebus, the main protagonist of the series. Also, we get a hard look into Rebus as he faces the realization that the brass are literally trying to force him to retire, transferring him to a new precinct and ordering his new boss to give him no office, no desk, no computer, no phone, nothing.

None of this is unexpected, not if you've
Hannah Polley
Apr 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, ian-rankin
Was it just me or did Rebus drink slightly less in this book? I certainly hope so.

I really want Rebus and Siobhan to get it on already but I wouldn't mind if that is being saved for the end of the series.

In this book, the murder of an asylum seeker and two skeletons uncovered leads to a cross over of cases. Rebus once again manages to solve everything, proving he is the best policeman by far.

Another good Rebus book.
Jun 21, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Complicated for me but others will have a better grasp of the plots than I did!
Dec 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: own-book
Good, easy read, stands alone as I haven't read any of the other Rebus books. Keeps the pace going and enjoyable characters.
Mar 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book as usual, what more can I say. After 15 books I am starting to have a craving for cigarettes and scotch (whisky)
Sam Wilkinson
Dec 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Re-reas: 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 ...more
Shirley Schwartz
Sep 20, 2015 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
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

Aug 25, 2009 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
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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction, u-k
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
Jul 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
More layers than a festering onion

Rankin guides thecreadercthrough Edinburgh, the good the bad and cc the ugly, following the floor fall of both Inspector John Rebus and DS Shiv Clarke. In fact threatens number of cases in play in this intriguing thriller, with Rebus and Shiv taken in different directions, only for the tangled strands to bring them together. Arch villain Big Ger Cafferty makes a cameo appearance as an ageing Rebus, denied even a chair to sit/ on, I add forced to tread the street
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Best Inspector Rebus novel for a movie 2 13 May 30, 2013 02:43AM  

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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

Other books in the series

Inspector Rebus (1 - 10 of 22 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)
“Brain Salad Surgery.” 0 likes
“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
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