Fleshmarket Close by Ian Rankin Orion $170 The 18th novel in the hugely successful Rebus series covers myriad topical issues: illegal immigration, asylum seekers, dire public housing estates and bigotry. The cynical, anti-social Scottish detective investigates the murder of an illegal immigrant, which leads him to an asylum seekers' detention centre. He's drawn to a woman who is determined not to let the plight of asylum seekers be ignored, and is once again sucked into Edinburgh's dark underworld. Meanwhile, Rebus and his protege, Siobhan, have been moved to a new police station and are dealing with their own feelings of displacement. Rankin treats contentious issues with sensitivity. He keeps the narrative tight and compelling, and never has to resort to gruesome descriptions of violence. Rankin creates new depths in Rebus' troubled soul. In many ways this is his best novel yet.