Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Fleshmarket Close (Inspector Rebus, #15)” as Want to Read:
Fleshmarket Close (Inspector Rebus, #15)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Fleshmarket Close

(Inspector Rebus #15)

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  11,166 ratings  ·  405 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
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 Close, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Fleshmarket Close

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.99  · 
Rating details
 ·  11,166 ratings  ·  405 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Fleshmarket Close (Inspector Rebus, #15)
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
Feb 14, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime-fiction
2011 view: Two skeletons are found during renovations to a bar cellar and a few days later an asylum seeker is stabbed to death on a sink estate. St Leonards has closed down its major crimes unit, causing Rebus and Siobhan to be working out of another office. They find themselves on the skeleton case; and as ever Rebus 'helps'with the murder investigation. despite not being assigned to it. Another great case by Rankin covering immigration, modern slavery, manipulation, revenge and as ever murder ...more
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
Eddie Owens
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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.
Feb 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
This is the 15th adventure of Edinburgh Police Detective John Rebus. Our hero can be a lone wolf – although a few of his peers do make the Rebus grade – he’s acerbic, seemingly knows every pub in Scotland – and their bartenders, him – and if nothing else he is persistent; working round the clock between pints and malts to solve cases. This is a very good series with Rebus fighting the good fight – usually on his own terms – exposing the seamy underside of the Scottish criminal element.

In Fleshma
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 .
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.
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
Oct 21, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
There’s a reason why I rarely read crime fiction: it’s only got one story. You can change the characters’ names, the location, even the historical time period but it is still the same-old, same-old underneath. And it’s boring. The common-denominators: a twisty-turny plot shot through with [entirely predictable] red herrings; a brace of hapless cops as contrast for the street-smart wisdom of the salty-old-dog protagonist; said protagonist being a divorced, functioning alcoholic who is married to ...more
A bit too preachy at times, at least for my taste, on the subject of immigration but still a satisfying story.
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
Rebecca Alcazaze
Sep 05, 2015 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
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
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
Shane Harrison
A dreary instalment of the Rebus series in the long run; and boy was it long. Starts with the killing of an immigrant in a tough housing estate, while Siobhan Clarke pursues a missing persons case and the discovery of two skeletons in the cellar of a pub. Unfortunately, the immigrant plotline follows the curve of most such plotlines. Things are 'black and white', in the sense that characters are fitted with horns or halos according to their attitude, and a simplistic overview is always too near ...more
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)
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Best Inspector Rebus novel for a movie 2 13 May 30, 2013 02:43AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Witch Hunt
  • Bleeding Hearts
  • Blood Hunt
  • Eye for Eye (Talion, #1)
  • Still Life (Inspector Karen Pirie #6)
  • Scottish Murders
  • All in the Blue Unclouded Weather (The Melling Sisters, #1)
  • Surviving the Hell of Auschwitz and Dachau: A Teenage Struggle Toward Freedom From Hatred
  • A Minute to Midnight (Atlee Pine #2)
  • Cold Granite (Logan McRae, #1)
  • A Private Cathedral (Dave Robicheaux #23)
  • Midnight at Malabar House
  • DEAD OF NIGHT: A Scottish murder mystery (The DI Jack Knox mysteries Book 3)
  • In Our Bones
  • Good As Dead (Tom Thorne, #10)
  • When the Devil Drives (Jasmine Sharp and Catherine McLeod, #2)
  • The Big Chill
  • Twisted Truth (DCI Peter Hatherall Mystery #5)
See similar books…
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 23 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)

Related Articles

The prolific and beloved author John Grisham, known for his courtroom thrillers, is back this month with a new pageturner, A Time for Mercy,...
37 likes · 7 comments
“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
More quotes…