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Fleshmarket Alley: An Inspector Rebus Novel (Inspector Rebus Mysteries)by Ian Rankin
Some of the best crime writing these days seems to be coming from Scotland, and Ian Rankin is the cream of the crop. A brilliant addition to the Inspector Rebus series (as well as an ideal launching point for newcomers to Rankin), Fleshmarket Alley is complex, humane, and utterly compelling.
Synopses & Reviews
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 ruthless and enterprising pub owner looking to create a local legend that will help lure trade. Or it could be something far worse — something as grisly as the death of a recent immigrant found brutally murdered at a local housing project, or the murder of Donald Cruikshank, a recently paroled rapist whose body is found just as a young woman goes missing. The missing girl is a friend of Inspector Rebus's colleague Detective Siobhan Clarke, and Siobhan is shocked to find herself in the same intricate web of murderers as Rebus — all somehow tied to that pile of bones under Fleshmarket Alley.
In a race to stop the killings before more bodies turn up — even as the possibility of romantic entanglements distracts and entices them — Rebus and Siobhan plumb the darkest corners of their beloved city and confront the lawless, conscienceless men who dwell there. Writing with the unstoppable narrative force that has made him one of the bestselling writers in the world, Edgar Award-winner Ian Rankin delivers his most explosive and surprising mystery yet.
"The Edinburgh of Insp. John Rebus has more than its share of violent crimes involving drugs and gangs, but there's always another layer of institutional vice and corruption. As Rebus says, '[W]e spend most of our time chasing something called 'the underworld,' but it's the overworld we should really be keeping an eye on.' In Edgar-winner Rankin's 15th novel to feature the moody, dogged detective (after 2004's A Question of Blood), a Kurdish refugee's death in a dreary housing estate leads Rebus into a labyrinthine plot involving a modern-day version of the slave trade. As has been the trend in recent Rebus novels, colleague Siobhan Clarke assumes a more central role, this time investigating the disappearance of the sister of a rape victim who later committed suicide. These mysteries begin to intertwine when Rebus and Clarke are called to a pub on Fleshmarket Close where two skeletons have been exhumed. As always, Rankin is deft with characterization and wit, but here he juggles too many narrative balls. The story lines are slow to gestate, and their complexity undermines the book's momentum. Still, Rebus remains one of the more compelling characters in crime fiction — and Rebus's Edinburgh one of the more compelling settings. Agent, Dominick Abel. (Feb. 2)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[A] superb crime novel, a pivotal entry in a uniformly fascinating series, and a remarkably perceptive analysis of the contemporary immigration dilemma at its most achingly human level." Booklist (Starred Review)
"[A]s is often the case with Mr. Rankin's books, the story is secondary to the pleasure of Rebus's company. Even though he has lately discovered text messaging ("fancy a drink i am in the ox," he writes from the Oxford Bar, one of his haunts), he remains a gruff, attractive throwback to gumshoes gone by." Janet Maslin, The New York Times
"Rankin's popular series remains as fresh and satisfying as ever, and this latest installment will leave fans wondering what the future holds for Rebus as he nears retirement." Library Journal
"Iconoclastic Rebus and tetchy Clarke are the best thing to come out of Scotland since single-malt — especially when they're involved in a plot so rich and complex." Kirkus Reviews
"This book is a solid addition to Rankin's work." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"Rankin navigates Fleshmarket Alley through a maze of human emotions and peril with skill we've come to expect from him." South Florida Sun-Sentinel
"...Fleshmarket Alley is a tightly constructed genre piece that illuminates the human face of immigration, without stooping to preach or sacrificing entertainment value." Philadelphia Inquirer
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.
In this Edgar Award-winning novel, human bones are discovered in the basement of a newly renovated bar on Fleshmarket Alley in Edinburgh's red-light district. Called to investigate, Inspector John Rebus soon finds himself near the center of an intricate web of murders.
About the Author
Born in the Kingdom of Fife in 1960, Ian Rankin graduated from the University of Edinburgh and has since been employed as grape-picker, swineherd, taxman, alcohol researcher, hi-fi journalist and punk musician. His first Rebus novel, Knots & Crosses, was published in 1987 and the Rebus books have now been translated into 22 languages and are increasingly popular in the USA. Ian Rankin has been elected a Hawthornden Fellow, and is a past winner of the prestigious Chandler-Fulbright Award, as well two CWA short-story 'Daggers' and the 1997 CWA Macallan Gold Dagger for Fiction for Black & Blue, which was also shortlisted for the Mystery Writers of America 'Edgar' award for best novel. Dead Souls, the tenth novel in the series, was shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger in 1999. Black & Blue, The Hanging Garden, Dead Souls and Mortal Causes have been televised on ITV, starring John Hannah as Inspector Rebus. An Alumnus of the Year at Edinburgh University, he has also been awarded two honorary doctorates, one from the University of Abertay Dundee and one, more recently, from the University of St Andrews. He was awarded the OBE in the Queen's Golden Jubilee Birthday Honours List in June 2002 and is now the UK's number one best-selling crime writer. Ian Rankin lives in Edinburgh with his wife and two sons.
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