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FLESHMARKET CLOSE. Perfect Paperback – 2004

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Product Details

  • Perfect Paperback: 399 pages
  • Publisher: MCARTHUR & COMPANY; First THUS edition (2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752851136
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752851136
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.8 x 23.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 240 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,789,872 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

An illegal immigrant is found murdered in an Edinburgh housing scheme; a racist attack, or something else entirely?

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie Taylor-Baptiste on Nov. 6 2013
Format: Paperback
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, is thought by the police to be the result of a racially-motivated crime. And so tells the murder-solving story that weaves several different crimes that all take place over a week.

Rankin is a great storyteller and bravely takes on the touchy subject of race relations. He exposes the harsh realities faced by refugees and asylum-seekers, and depicts their attempts to start new lives in a better country only to find themselves poor, desolate, and the subject of hate crimes.

Rankin’s readers know that sometimes his stories wrap everything up together all too nicely, but that’s easy to get over considering you’ve devoured page after page because he’s kept you entertained. The great thing about Rankin’s novels is they don’t subject the reader to procedural dribble; rather he makes his novels interesting, funny, and with a healthy dose of police work that makes you hang on for more.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was on a Rankin kick when I bought this book. Got through about half of his catalog and moved on. I think it's time to finish off the rest of his books.
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By Lorry on April 1 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Got lost trying to keep track of everyone. Siobhan almost emerged as a character. Silly bit about the flashlight could have been eliminated.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 12 reviews
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Rankin at his formidable best April 6 2006
By Booksthatmatter - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Rankin does not put a foot wrong in what is possibly his most ambitious book yet. He manages to sustain 3, no 4, seemingly separate but highly interlinked plot-lines running: two murders; a missing teenager; and the apparent spoof burial of two fake skeletons. Fleshmarket Close directly tackles racism, asylum and immigration issues in a chillingly frank fashion. What I liked best about this book though was the way Rebus himself has become both more hardened and more humane at the same time - a very effective development. His bitter, give-a-damn demeanor now declares very loudly that he knows the system, the law delivers very little by way of real justive but he's damned if that's going to stop him trying to be its conscience. Welcome returns from characters like Big Ger Cafferty and Siobhan Clarke as well. This really is Rankin bettering his best.
Above average but not Rankin at his best June 1 2007
By OEJ - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Cockle-picking is not one of Edinburgh's most glamorous occupations. When DI Rebus goes out to Leith in search of a slave-labour gang, he passes a sign on the beach warning shellfish caught there will be unfit for consumption. Rebus and DS Siobhan Clarke are both pursuing cases out of territory.

With the closure of the St Leonards CID, DI Rebus and DS Clarke find themselves assigned to neighbouring Gayfield Square. With his reputation following him wherever he goes, Rebus is more than aware that his floating status is supposed to annoy him enough that he will want to leave of his own accord. Now in his mid-fifties, Rebus is getting even closer to retiring but there's always one more case left in the man who knows Edinburgh like the back of his hand.

Siobhan is approached by the parents of a missing teenager who again want the assistance of the officer who helped them once before. The rapist who destroyed their other daughter is out and about, stirring up not so old hatreds and charging the community to speak up. Siobhan teams up with the local police when the ex-con is murdered, wondering as she does so whether she is investigating as assistance to a bewildered family or to determine their involvement with the murder.

Rebus is loaned out to an investigation of a murder in a dismal estate called Knoxland. Knoxland is well known for its racial problems and proximity to a immigration detention centre that brings out strong opinions in the small village that rely on its employment. The residents aren't talking and Rebus has seen enough of the like to know that the silence could be borne out of fear as much as it could be the habit of the angry poor to remain uninvolved.

The character of John Rebus would arguably have to be the best in British crime fiction. Author Ian Rankin serves up his hero warts and all, packaged into tales of the city that tackle the issues of the day from all perspectives. "Fleshmarket Close" is the fifteenth novel in this series, and while it concentrates less on the personal life of Rebus with several crime plots being played out simultaneously, it gives enough of an indication that future novels of the series might be markedly different from what we're used to seeing. The protégée, if you like, Siobhan Clarke gains strength with each appearance and this novel also raises the question as to exactly how the relationship between Rebus and Siobhan will continue.

There's a lot happening in this novel so a clear head is required to keep track of the merging plots and large array of characters. Rankin's flair with the details might have you back tracking repeatedly, but it's a small price to pay for your yearly dosage of Detective Inspector John Rebus.

Author Ian Rankin seems to be pushing some of the limits of this franchise - Rebus cannot go on forever. Rankin has apparently suggested that at one book each year, he could write FIVE MORE Rebus novels, by which time the fictitious detective will be 60 and due to retire. I'm not sure about this - I think Rankin would do better to put Rebus out to pasture now while he's at the top (just), and dedicate his time to new ideas and new heroes.

(Review written in 2005)
far too long-winded to be called a 'thriller' April 20 2008
By N. Page - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
..an enjoyable enough read but at nearly 500 pages this is at least 150 pages too long. As pointed out there are four or five seemingly unconnected plots going on here, each developed with a certain tedium to the point where Rebus is forced to tie all the lose ends together and wrap the whole thing up in the last 10-20 pages. Ranking & Rebus have evidently attained such a level of success that the publisher doesn't feel the need for some tighter editing. If you enjoy page after page of Rebus drinking, eating & painfully trying to develop a relationship with a woman plainly unsuited then this is highly recommended.
Another good read Aug. 21 2014
By Francis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have always been a great fan of Ian Rankin. His books are well crafted and he creates the atmosphere of the seedier sides of Glasgow and Edinburgh. This book is about a festival of hippies young and old taking place in Edinburgh ad at the same time as a meeting of Heads of State at Edinburgh Castle. The inevitable murder takes place on the Castle grounds where a man falls to his death.

As I say I always enjoy Ian Rankin but I think his earlier books are better. He has now grown to old and grump but try for yourself
Five Stars July 10 2014
By David O' Shea - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Brilliant book with lots of twists

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