is not one of the best of Rankin's John Rebus thrillers, but his second-best is still more than excellent. Middle age is catching up with Rebus--he currently has no desk as a none-too-subtle hint from his superiors that he should seek retirement--but he and his friend and protegee Siobhan, who is still not his lover, race around investigating a variety of seemingly unconnected cases
The sister of a dead rape victim is missing; stolen medical skeletons turn up embedded in a concrete floor; a Kurdish journalist is brutally killed; the son of a Glasgow ganglord has moved in to the Edinburgh vice scene.
Much of the book is dominated by two new settings--a sink estate divided between racist thugs and refugees, and a small town whose economy is dominated by an internment camp for those about to be deported; this is one of Rankin's preachier thrillers, but it is never less than intelligent and evocative in its descriptions of a contemporary squalor that spreads beyond the inner city. These are never quite orthodox police procedurals--Rebus' method is a little too like the standard private eye's way of wandering around being rude to people until something comes loose--but they have a deep seriousness about the way we live now that transcends mere noir moodiness.--Roz Kaveney
Fleshmarket Close was featured in the new BBC bookclub programme hosted by Jeremy Vine - BBC PAGE TURNERS. The interview with Ian was broadcast on Monday 18 April on BBC1 at 9.15am. THE GUARDIAN have interviewed Ian for the Saturday Review. This is a major profile interview by Nick Wroe with photographs by Eamonn McCabe. This will run mid-May to tie in to Ian's talk at the Guardian Hay Festival. BBC RADIO WALES 'Phil the Shelf' are interviewing Ian at Hay. On 9 April FINANCIAL TIMES ran an profile interview with Ian for the Weekend Interview. This was done whilst Ian was touring the States. Fleshmarket Close was also winner of the 2005 British Book Award for Crime Thriller of the Year. The award was announced at the Nibbies on 20 April and broadcast on Channel 4 'RICHARD AND JUDY on 22 April. THE TIMES ran a diary story following the announcement of the shortlist and the Nibbies got widespread media coverage. Ian was awarded CWA DIAMOND DAGGER for Lifetime Achievement on Wednesday 11 May at the Savoy. Ian has written 100 words for GUARDIAN summer reading feature.