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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fleshmarket Close, Ian Rankin
...Fleshmarket Close/Edinburgh Fringe...
The question, at this stage in Rankin's career, is not "can he write a bad book?" but, "can he even write a lacklustre one?" The answer, unequivocally, is no. At first, I was a little nervous about this new novel, which sees Rebus investigating the stabbing of a Kurdish immigrant in a grotty underpass on an Edinburgh housing...
Published on 17 Oct. 2004 by RachelWalker

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Ian Rankin Beats his Liberal breast
I am both a massive fan of Ian Rankin and his Rebus books. I have read all Ian Rankin's books at least three or four times and find myself going back to them again and again like old friends. Especially his Rebus oeuvre.

I have to say however that Fleshmarket Close is my least favorite Rebus book by a long way. Now no Rebus book is ever bad. I think if you like...
Published on 31 Jan. 2013 by P. Law


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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fleshmarket Close, Ian Rankin, 17 Oct. 2004
By 
RachelWalker "RachelW" (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Fleshmarket Close
...Fleshmarket Close/Edinburgh Fringe...
The question, at this stage in Rankin's career, is not "can he write a bad book?" but, "can he even write a lacklustre one?" The answer, unequivocally, is no. At first, I was a little nervous about this new novel, which sees Rebus investigating the stabbing of a Kurdish immigrant in a grotty underpass on an Edinburgh housing scheme called Knoxland. Partly because the "asylum-seeker issue" is so incredibly well-worn in this country, taking up more pages of newspaper-columnage than any other, probably. I was a little worried that it'd feel a little recycled, a little tired, but I was wrong to be worried. I had misplaced my faith in Rankin! Honestly, when you routinely get one novel per year (well, roughly) that is always of such quality, it's very easy to forget how good some authors are.
The issues here do not feel tired at all. Instead, what Rankin does is use his novel as a kind of melting-pot for the discussion so far, as well as adding a few snappy ingredients of his own. It serves as a level-headed, cool examination of an issue that so often gets drowned and distorted in its own hysteria.
As Rankin himself has said, it's a book about what it means to be on the edge, to be an outsider. Here, it also succeeds unquestionably. We are practically barraged with images of outsiders, of people living just on the fringe or outside the lines. Rebus himself is an outsider here: St Leonard's CID is being disbanded, its officers sent to other stations. Rebus, along with Siobhan Clarke, is placed in the unfamiliar territory of Gayfield Square, and finds himself tagging along at the edge of an investigation in which he really has no place, though no one seems to care what he's doing anyway. That no one seems to give any care what he's up to helps to build the impression that the bosses want him out. And it's a message that they aren't delivering with much subtlety: at his new station, Rebus hasn't even got a desk, and has to make do with a table by the coffee machine. Most of the action takes place outside of Edinburgh, including the case which forms Siobhan's sub-plot: she's investigating the disappearance of Banehall resident Ishbel Jardine, whose dead sister's rapist (!) has just been released from jail. Siobhan, as has become the trend, actually takes up almost as much of the book as Rebus himself. No matter; either way you've got a fascinating protagonist.
This is also a book about the many ways that people are used by others, whether willingly or not, and the abuse of power. At times, it's an angry book, and this is tempered by an even greater maturity in the writing. It was difficult to imagine it improving any more, but it has. Rankin's prose has rhythm and flow, and has even more of a "you don't realise you're reading" quality than even before. The sentences really, really gel. Rebus, too, is continuing to mature over the past four novels: he's no less angry, no less lost, but there's a kind of resigned wisdom in him lately. He's possibly less impetuous, less volatile, but he is just as sure of his actions and the justice of them. He's just as hard as ever.
Fleshmarket Close is another outstanding book in a simply outstanding run of around 8 novels. In a world where the media can no longer be relied upon, in which news is not sold on its quality or verity but on how it's delivered to us, there's an increasing validity to the argument that art is the place where you must go to find the most piercing social comment, the most thoughtful and intelligent discussions of society and issues. This book is an excellent social novel, and it's also a very brave one: it's possible to get a little tired of books which present both sides of an argument and don't even attempt to consider answers, books which highlight issues but don't try to really bite into them. Books, essentially, which sit on the fence. Rankin doesn't do that here, he jumps off it. We're clearly left with an impression of what Rankin feels is correct and what is not (though, of course, not in every case; he doesn't pretend to have all the answers; or even most of them), and it's very refreshing to see a novel seems at times to be saying that things don't have to be shades of grey all the time. Overall, it may not in the end be Rankin's best, (though the first 200 pages possibly are), but Fleshmarket Close is, down to the exceptionally brilliant final lines of its epilogue, another very fine crime novel.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Close to the Alley, 17 Feb. 2006
I am a long time fan of Iain Rankin's Rebus novels. I suppose living in Edinburgh and just round the corner from the real Arden Street, where Rebus has his flat, makes it seem all the more authentic. Imagine my puzzlement then to see this edition of his book entitled "Fleshmarket Alley".
The original published title is "Fleshmarket Close". This is a genuine street in Edinburgh's old town. It is indeed a narrow alley just off the High Street, connecting to Cockburn Street and on down a steep incline to Market Street just across from the city's Waverley Station.
I guess they changed the title for overseas publication on the basis that people might not know that a "Close" is an "Alley" in Scottish parlance. Still, it seems a shame to detract from the great sense of locale that Rankin gives his novels by setting them in the living flesh and blood of Edinburgh. Even though the novel's housing estate of Knoxville had its name changed to protect the innocent(!), any resident of 'Auld Reekie' ('Old Smokey' - an ancient and not entirely flattering name for the City of Edinburgh) could tell you exactly where it is and you would find it much as described.
If you want to know your Edinburgh and enjoy a great thriller thrown in then the Rebus series is for you. But, please, why change the title in this unnecessary way.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rebus, We're Starting To Know You, 28 May 2013
By 
prisrob "pris," (New England USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
Ian Rankin starts his new book with this quote: "It is to Scotland that we look for our ideas of civilisation" (Voltaire)

John Rebus finds himself ensconced in a murder mystery- a Kurdish immigrant is found murdered in a housing development called Knoxland. Rebus's original police station has closed, and he is trying to find a place for himself. His reputation precedes him; he is known as a troublemaker or trouble finder and not an easy person to deal with. He is also known as someone who is trustworthy and honest (well, to a degree). He must push himself into this investigation, and as always Rebus finds the truth and a little more. Rebus is a kinder, gentler man in this novel. He attempts to develop a relationship with an artist who is fighting to have an immigrant detention center closed. However, Rebus is the enemy so to speak, so this relationship is not an easy one. Rebus is also watching his drink, not really drinking less but watching it; so he has developed a real social conscience- he doesn't drive while drinking.

In the meantime Siobhan Clarke, Detective Sergeant, a close friend of Rebus's has developed her own mystery. She is asked by parents to look for their daughter, Ishbel Jardine. Siobhan had been involved in an attempt to solve the crime of their older daughter's rape and subsequent suicide. Now this younger daughter has gone missing, and the parents are worried. She is drawn into the search and then to find the murderer of this first daughter's rapist.

Both of these mysteries have close ties, and Rebus and Siobhan work together. Is the murder of the immigrant a racist plot? The twists and turns lead to a mass immigrant con game with big money at the core. The disappearance of the young girl leads to consequences not expected.

The relationship between John Rebus and Siohban Clarke has been innocent but friendly and now something more is hinted. These two understand each other and have a close working relationship, but could something closer work for the two of them? I enjoyed this book as much or more than the others. However that said, the history of Rebus and Siohban gives us insight into how their personalities have developed and changed. A wonderfully written and perceptive book.

Recommend highly. prisrob
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fleshmarket Close, Ian Rankin, 11 Oct. 2004
By 
RachelWalker "RachelW" (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Fleshmarket Close
...Fleshmarket Close/Edinburgh Fringe...
The question, at this stage in Rankin's career, is not "can he write a bad book?" but, "can he even write a lacklustre one?" The answer, unequivocally, is no. At first, I was a little nervous about this new novel, which sees Rebus investigating the stabbing of a Kurdish immigrant in a grotty underpass on an Edinburgh housing scheme called Knoxland. Partly because the "asylum-seeker issue" is so incredibly well-worn in this country, taking up more pages of newspaper-columnage than any other, probably. I was a little worried that it'd feel a little recycled, a little tired, but I was wrong to be worried. I had misplaced my faith in Rankin! Honestly, when you routinely get one novel per year (well, roughly) that is always of such quality, it's very easy to forget how good some authors are.
The issues here do not feel tired at all. Instead, what Rankin does is use his novel as a kind of melting-pot for the discussion so far, as well as adding a few snappy ingredients of his own. It serves as a level-headed, cool examination of an issue that so often gets drowned and distorted in its own hysteria.
As Rankin himself has said, it's a book about what it means to be on the edge, to be an outsider. Here, it also succeeds unquestionably. We are practically barraged with images of outsiders, of people living just on the fringe or outside the lines. Rebus himself is an outsider here: St Leonard's CID is being disbanded, its officers sent to other stations. Rebus, along with Siobhan Clarke, is placed in the unfamiliar territory of Gayfield Square, and finds himself tagging along at the edge of an investigation in which he really has no place, though no one seems to care what he's doing anyway. That no one seems to give any care what he's up to helps to build the impression that the bosses want him out. And it's a message that they aren't delivering with much subtlety: at his new station, Rebus hasn't even got a desk, and has to make do with a table by the coffee machine. Most of the action takes place outside of Edinburgh, including the case which forms Siobhan's sub-plot: she's investigating the disappearance of Banehall resident Ishbel Jardine, whose dead sister's rapist (!) has just been released from jail. Siobhan, as has become the trend, actually takes up almost as much of the book as Rebus himself. No matter; either way you've got a fascinating protagonist.
This is also a book about the many ways that people are used by others, whether willingly or not, and the abuse of power. At times, it's an angry book, and this is tempered by an even greater maturity in the writing. It was difficult to imagine it improving any more, but it has. Rankin's prose has rhythm and flow, and has even more of a "you don't realise you're reading" quality than even before. The sentences really, really gel. Rebus, too, is continuing to mature over the past four novels: he's no less angry, no less lost, but there's a kind of resigned wisdom in him lately. He's possibly less impetuous, less volatile, but he is just as sure of his actions and the justice of them. He's just as hard as ever.
Fleshmarket Close is another outstanding book in a simply outstanding run of around 8 novels. In a world where the media can no longer be relied upon, in which news is not sold on its quality or verity but on how it's delivered to us, there's an increasing validity to the argument that art is the place where you must go to find the most piercing social comment, the most thoughtful and intelligent discussions of society and issues. This book is an excellent social novel, and it's also a very brave one: it's possible to get a little tired of books which present both sides of an argument and don't even attempt to consider answers, books which highlight issues but don't try to really bite into them. Books, essentially, which sit on the fence. Rankin doesn't do that here, he jumps off it. We're clearly left with an impression of what Rankin feels is correct and what is not (though, of course, not in every case; he doesn't pretend to have all the answers; or even most of them), and it's very refreshing to see a novel seems at times to be saying that things don't have to be shades of grey all the time. Overall, it may not in the end be Rankin's best, (though the first 200 pages possibly are), but Fleshmarket Close is, down to the exceptionally brilliant final lines of its epilogue, another very fine crime novel.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rankin and Rebus - Another Great Tale, 29 May 2005
This review is from: Fleshmarket Close (Paperback)
Ian Rankin takes on the controversial topic of illegal immigration in this latest installment of the Inspector Rebus series. Not only is the plot about immigration thought provoking as Rankin shines his very literate light on both sides of the issue, but the sub-plots are also interesting and weave an engaging story throughout the book. We see a bit of the softer and more sentimental side of Rebus in small glimpses. The reader still gets to enjoy the rougher side of him when he thinks someone is being rude and coming onto his partner and protege, Siobhan. Even after 15 books, DI Rebus is still, for this reader, the most interesting and beloved character in crime fiction today. I buy few books in hardback nowadays, even fewer do I order from the UK, but this one was certainly worth the wait and expense. You won't be disappointed if you purchase this book or request it at your library.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fleshmarket Close, Ian Rankin, 3 Oct. 2004
By 
RachelWalker "RachelW" (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Fleshmarket Close
...Fleshmarket Close/Edinburgh Fringe...
The question, at this stage in Rankin's career, is not "can he write a bad book?" but, "can he even write a lacklustre one?" The answer, unequivocally, is no. At first, I was a little nervous about this new novel, which sees Rebus investigating the stabbing of a Kurdish immigrant in a grotty underpass on an Edinburgh housing scheme called Knoxland. Partly because the "asylum-seeker issue" is so incredibly well-worn in this country, taking up more pages of newspaper-columnage than any other, probably. I was a little worried that it'd feel a little recycled, a little tired, but I was wrong to be worried. I had misplaced my faith in Rankin! Honestly, when you routinely get one novel per year (well, roughly) that is always of such quality, it's very easy to forget how good some authors are.
The issues here do not feel tired at all. Instead, what Rankin does is use his novel as a kind of melting-pot for the discussion so far, as well as adding a few snappy ingredients of his own. It serves as a level-headed, cool examination of an issue that so often gets drowned and distorted in its own hysteria.
As Rankin himself has said, it's a book about what it means to be on the edge, to be an outsider. Here, it also succeeds unquestionably. We are practically barraged with images of outsiders, of people living just on the fringe or outside the lines. Rebus himself is an outsider here: St Leonard's CID is being disbanded, its officers sent to other stations. Rebus, along with Siobhan Clarke, is placed in the unfamiliar territory of Gayfield Square, and finds himself tagging along at the edge of an investigation in which he really has no place, though no one seems to care what he's doing anyway. That no one seems to give any care what he's up to helps to build the impression that the bosses want him out. And it's a message that they aren't delivering with much subtlety: at his new station, Rebus hasn't even got a desk, and has to make do with a table by the coffee machine. Most of the action takes place outside of Edinburgh, including the case which forms Siobhan's sub-plot: she's investigating the disappearance of Banehall resident Ishbel Jardine, whose dead sister's rapist (!) has just been released from jail. Siobhan, as has become the trend, actually takes up almost as much of the book as Rebus himself. No matter; either way you've got a fascinating protagonist.
This is also a book about the many ways that people are used by others, whether willingly or not, and the abuse of power. At times, it's an angry book, and this is tempered by an even greater maturity in the writing. It was difficult to imagine it improving any more, but it has. Rankin's prose has rhythm and flow, and has even more of a "you don't realise you're reading" quality than even before. The sentences really, really gel. Rebus, too, is continuing to mature over the past four novels: he's no less angry, no less lost, but there's a kind of resigned wisdom in him lately. He's possibly less impetuous, less volatile, but he is just as sure of his actions and the justice of them. He's just as hard as ever.
Fleshmarket Close is another outstanding book in a simply outstanding run of around 8 novels. In a world where the media can no longer be relied upon, in which news is not sold on its quality or verity but on how it's delivered to us, there's an increasing validity to the argument that art is the place where you must go to find the most piercing social comment, the most thoughtful and intelligent discussions of society and issues. This book is an excellent social novel, and it's also a very brave one: it's possible to get a little tired of books which present both sides of an argument and don't even attempt to consider answers, books which highlight issues but don't try to really bite into them. Books, essentially, which sit on the fence. Rankin doesn't do that here, he jumps off it. We're clearly left with an impression of what Rankin feels is correct and what is not (though, of course, not in every case; he doesn't pretend to have all the answers; or even most of them), and it's very refreshing to see a novel seems at times to be saying that things don't have to be shades of grey all the time. Overall, it may not in the end be Rankin's best, (though the first 200 pages possibly are), but Fleshmarket Close is, down to the exceptionally brilliant final lines of its epilogue, another very fine crime novel.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rebus rides again., 26 Oct. 2004
By 
A. J Thompson "voyagersaus" (Western Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Fleshmarket Close
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 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.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great Read, 9 Sept. 2014
This review is from: Fleshmarket Close (Paperback)
I am quite surprised that this is the first time that I have read a Rebus novel. As someone who frequently reads detective novels you'd have thought that I would have embarked onthe Rebus series as long time ago.
This is number 15 in the Rebus series but I didn't encounter any problems with not having read any of the earlier books. However, having read this one I am inclined to start at the beginning and read the complete series over time.
The opening of this book finds Rebus rather adrift. His usual unit has been closed and he has ended up working in another unit. He doesn't quite fit in here and doesn't even have a desk. The general feeling is that it would have been better if he had taken the hint and quietly retired. This book is set amongst the world of outsiders. We encounter immigrants, those in detention centres and those living illegally and being exploited within society. We also enter the hazy underworld of a past rapist and the ripples that his actions caused to the family of the victim who also feel like outsiders. There are many people in this book who don't seem to belong.
I liked Rebus as a character. In some ways he is typical of a good literary detective in that he doesn't always play by the book. As he doesn't quite belong to the unit he is working with he seems to be able to wander off and follow his own leads without much interference. There were a few things that Rebus said or did which I didn't quite like which made him all the better a character. His "sidekick" is Siobhan who is fitting in much better to this new unit and seems to be much more sociable than Rebus.
I very much got the impression that this book was deeper than just a detective story. This is also a commentary on various social issues and dilemas. Different points of view are put forward by different characters. Certainly there was a great deal to think about.
This was a good, solid detective story. There were a few plot twists but it all worked and the threads came together at the end. I enjoyed the social commentary which certainly gave some meat to this book and made it a step above a basic detective book.
I shall be looking out for other books in this series & hopefully will be able to read from book one onwards.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Ian Rankin Beats his Liberal breast, 31 Jan. 2013
By 
P. Law (Dundee, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Fleshmarket Close (Paperback)
I am both a massive fan of Ian Rankin and his Rebus books. I have read all Ian Rankin's books at least three or four times and find myself going back to them again and again like old friends. Especially his Rebus oeuvre.

I have to say however that Fleshmarket Close is my least favorite Rebus book by a long way. Now no Rebus book is ever bad. I think if you like certain characters, you can enjoy just reading about their lives. The plots can sometimes be almost immaterial. And Rebus is still a brilliant character, even here. But for me there are just too many misfires in this book.

The first is the missing child sub-plot (no spoilers) We have been here before. Rebus investigated an almost identical case (again unoffically) a few books back. So that kind of feels like old territory.

Secondly I have never been mad about Siobhan as a character. She has always been a bit too perfect, a bit goody-two-shoes. Her increasing presence in the Rebus books has diluted Rebus down a little for me. But in this book she becomes utterly insufferable. She speaks like some 'right-on' Guardian columnist and sometimes I find myself skipping over paragraphs to get past her little self-righteous rants.

Which brings me to the biggest issue with this book. And for me that is that it feels the only Rebus book where Rankin is quite heavy handedly pushing a liberal message. And that's unusual for him. Rankin books tend not to be judgmental or try to push a message onto the reader. But here he lets rip! The character who is the rapist gets the full on feminist rant that 'all men are rapists' treatment. Espcially by the shrill Siobhan. Then Rankiin leaves us with no uncertainly about his liberal feelings towards asylum seekers/immigrants. Some of the words coming out of Rebus and Siobhan's mouths concerning this issue could have come straight from any Immigration Support Charity. Both Rebus and Siobhan's expressed sentiment are beyond simply being sympathetic to the immigrant characters. They are aggressively critical and judgemental of the characters in the book who are given the role of opposing mass immigration. It's almost as if the characters opposing immigration are simply put there as 'Aunt Sally's' to take the full force of Rebus and Siobhan's disdain.

Now whatever your views on issues such as rape and immigration, it is very unusual for Ian Rankin to so nakedly push an agenda with his readers. I do not find such proselytizing to my taste. I prefer the more sarcsatic, indpendent minded Rebus personally. His normal attitude of a 'plague on all their houses'. Interstingly, in his next book, 'Naming of the Dead', Rankin seems to drop this approach and go back to good old Rebus as he usually is. Cynical and detached from the influences around him. Even Siobhan is toned down a bit in the next book and is not quite so annoying. So I don't know why Rankin goes for the 'message' in this book. But for me, it certainly spoils it and I'm glad he didn't carry it on.

So, still a good read if you like Rankin and Rebus. But for me personally, the least good of all his output.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Taken Up with Special Pleading for Unfortunates, 10 Dec. 2010
By 
Stephanie De Pue (Wilmington, NC USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Fleshmarket Close (Paperback)
"Fleshmarket Close," (2004) is fifteenth in the Detective Chief Inspector John Rebus series, by the outstanding, award-winning, author Ian Rankin, currently the best-selling author of British mysteries in the United Kingdom. It can, like most of his work, be described as a police procedural, within the tartan noir school, and is set in Edinburgh.

As the book opens, skeletons are found beneath the concreted floor of a pub's cellar: they are, apparently, chillingly enough, mother and child. An asylum-seeker is found brutally murdered in one of the city's most lawless housing projects. And an eighteen year old girl goes missing: she is the younger sister of the victim in one of the past cases of detective Siobhan Clarke, an old friend of Rebus's on the job. The man responsible for that victim's death also soon turns up, brutally murdered.

This fifteenth crime novel in the series seems to be, unfortunately, largely taken up with special pleading for those who, by any yardstick, are among society's least favored: illegal immigrants, used more or less as slaves, particularly sex slaves; and asylum seekers. No reader can argue that these people are not among the most unfortunate, and do not deserve help, but the author's pleading for them results in rather a thin mystery, for him. And, I can't help it, I am reminded of Samuel Goldwyn's eternal quote: "When I want to send a message, I call Western Union."

However, the book is still written with Rankin's unflagging power, wit and energy, crackling with sharp descriptions of Scotland, its capital, its people, diet, social life and weather. He tells us that the Scots have a word for the kind of weather of which they enjoy (?) so much, misty, with a light rain: they call it "smirr." And he describes the universal costume of the young and disenchanted: fleece pants, hoodie, baseball cap. He gives us his -and Rebus's Glasgow: "Glasgow had never been his favorite place. It seemed all teeming concrete and high-rise. He got lost there and always had trouble finding landmarks to navigate by. There were areas of the city which felt as if they could swallow up Edinburgh wholesale. The people were different, too: he couldn't say what it was exactly--accent or mind-set. But the place made him uncomfortable."

The east coast Edinburgh is more or less Rankin's home town; in comparison to the west coast Glasgow, it's a more beautiful, smaller city, the capital of the country, where you might expect the crime to be white collar, rather than blue, and bloody. But Rebus always seems to find enough to keep busy. James Ellroy, American author of LA Confidential, has dubbed Rankin the progenitor - and king--of tartan noir. But, just what's tartan noir when it's at home, you ask? A bloodthirsty, bloody-minded business, to be sure, more violent than the average British mystery, but, thankfully, leavened a bit with that dark Scots humor. Written, to be sure, by Scots.

Rankin was nominated for an Edgar Award for Black And Blue: An Inspector Rebus Novel 8, for which he won England's prestigious Gold Dagger Award. He was born in the Kingdom of Fife in 1960, and graduated from the University of Edinburgh. His official bio states that he's been employed as grape-picker, swineherd, taxman, hi-fi journalist, and punk musician. His first Rebus novel Knots And Crosses was published in 1987. His works are now receiving television treatment. If you've never read this author, I recommend that you do-- but don't start here.
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