Friday, March 10, 2006

Fleshmarket Alley

I've been an Ian Rankin fan since I read Resurrection Men a few years ago. The author's series character, DI John Rebus, is perhaps one of the best modern tough guys in the genre; certainly on par with Connelly's Harry Bosch.

Fleshmarket Alley is an ambitious book that examines the issue of refugees in Scotland through the lens of a murder investigation, furthering the thought that crime novels are today's social novels. Novelists like Upton Sinclair have been replaced by the Ian Rankins and George Pelecanoses of noir fiction.

But as thought-provoking as Rankin's novel is, I found that it didn't draw me in like some of his other books have in the past. Not that Fleshmarket Alley isn't a very good, but sometimes I think an author we are in complete awe of has an unfair deficit to overcome in meeting our expectations. I'm sure that a reader new to Rankin would find this an excellent book.

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