Fleshmarket Close – Ian Rankin

This is the second book by Ian Rankin that I’ve read so far, the first being [intlink id=”548″ type=”post”]Knots and Crosses[/intlink]. I really wanted to read this book because I visited Edinburgh and was interested in the area of Fleshmarket Close and quite fancied reading some fiction based around it! However, on getting into the novel I discovered that there’s not really that much involvement in Fleshmarket Close at all. Do not despair, though, because there’s plenty of action in other places in and around Edinburgh!

The book is another Inspector John Rebus novel, and the action begins with the brutal murder of an illegal immigrant on a dodgy housing estate outside the city. Rebus is drawn into the case and as usual immediately gets his hands dirty. However, he’s welcome of the distraction – his old police station has been shut down and he’s been shipped out elsewhere and is feeling distinctly unwelcome. There are hints being dropped that Rebus should retire, but he’s not biting. His friend and almost-lover Siobhan is by his side and together they’re investigating the murder.

Things soon become more complicated as a teenager goes missing, two skeletons are found in a cellar in Fleshmarket Close, and a convinced rapist is released from jail and returns to the area from whence he came. The events may or may not be connected, but can Rebus and Siobhan get to the bottom of it before anyone else gets hurt? Only one way to find out…

Fleshmarket Close wasn’t what I expected, but it is very good. Despite the number of characters (lots!) it’s still easy to keep up and the plot doesn’t require too much thought. You leave that part to the characters! I wouldn’t say it was an outstanding novel or one that will particularly stick in my mind, but it was an interesting read and would still encourage me to read more of Rankin’s novels. I think people familiar with the area will enjoy the book even more as you won’t have to resort to Google Maps to get your head around the action.

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