Fleshmarket Close by Ian Rankin

I bought Fleshmarket Close by Ian Rankin in a second hand book sale for £1 over a year ago. Having read the first five books in Rankin’s Rebus series in 2016, I’d planned to read the entire series. But I wasn’t so keen on the sixth book, Mortal Causes. So Fleshmarket Close just sat there until one day it was the very last book on my pile. And I realised I could wait forever to read the rest of the series, or I could just get on and read it.

So I did. And I wasn’t disappointed.

Fleshmarket Close is the 15th novel in the Rebus series and was published in 2004, so the characters actually use mobile phones to communicate, but not smartphones (it’s amazing how quickly detective novels date).

An illegal immigrant is found murdered, skeletons are found in the basement of a pub and the sister of a rape victim is missing. DI John Rebus and DS Siobhan Clarke set out to investigate these seemingly unconnected crimes. But are they really unconnected or does something link them all?

Set in Edinburgh’s underworld, Rebus travels from pub to pub making his enquiries and drinking too much along the way. His methods may not always be by the book and his superiors are ready for him to retire, but Rebus isn’t about to give up just yet.

Much of the action centres on a detention centre for asylum seekers, as well as one of Edinburgh’s roughest estates, where immigrants live in fear. The theme feels surprisingly current. I thought refugees and asylum seekers were a more modern phenomenon, but clearly not.

Fleshmarket Close gives Siobhan Clarke equal billing with Rebus, as they carry out their investigations both together and separately. With a big cast of sleazy characters, this is a complex, but entertaining story. For me, it could be my favourite Rebus novel to date. I will certainly be reading more after this one.

Fleshmarket Close, Fleshmarket Close by Ian Rankin, Ian Rankin, Book review


Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. Wow this series has been going on a long time but what a bargain of a book at £1! Thanks for sharing with #readwithme

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    • It’s been going for over 30 years and new books are still coming out. I need to find more books for £1 I think!

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  2. I’ve not read any of this series and I think I’m going to stick to stand alone novels for a while when I’ve finished the Myron Bolitar series. I had to take a break because I was getting a little bored and I think it’s because I’d read too many in the series with no break. I’m reading Eleanor Oliphant for a complete change after a copy finally came into the charity shop 🙂

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    • Glad you’ve finally got to read Eleanor Oliphant! I will never read more than two books in a series together, however much I’m enjoying them. I always have to read other stuff in between.

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  3. I think I have an Ian Rankin sat on my shelf, maybe I should give it a go, I’m in a reading lull again! #readwithme

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    • Sorry to hear you’re in a lull! You should definitely give it a go, they’re exciting books!

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    • They’re definitely worth a try! And if you like them, there’s absolutely loads of them to keep you entertained for a long time to come.

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  4. Not read this one! But I have walked down Fleshmarket Close! #readwithme

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    • Wow, I’m impressed that you’ve walked down it! It’s such a gory sounding name.

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