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Fleshmarket Alley: An Inspector Rebus Novel (Inspector Rebus Mysteries)by Ian Rankin
Synopses & Reviews
A shocking murder in the dark streets of the flesh trade exposes an even more sinister underworld.
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)
"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
"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
"[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
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.
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