A Short Story by Ian Rankin
I picked this little book up in a shop in Australia; I hadn’t seen it for sale in the UK [though I see it’s been mentioned on Goodreads]. It’s not an Inspector Rebus story of course, but if you have a few minutes to spare it’s a good read.
Ronald Hastie is a graduate of Edinburgh University and is spending the summer in Paris before returning to do a PhD on Robert Louis Stevenson. He takes a job in an antiquarian bookshop, Shakespeare and Co, owned by a descendant of Walt Whitman. In the course of his work he meets Benjamin Turk, a collector. Turk claims to have access to an early draft of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and also to an unpublished Stevenson work, The Travelling Companion.
Mix Benjamin Turk, a mysterious woman called Alice, some literary fragments and a demanding girlfriend, and you have a recipe for disaster. Ronald’s character and behaviour begin to change…. and not for the better!
The Travelling Companion – Rankin’s story that is, not Stevenson’s- appears to be part of a series of short stories by different authors, entitled Death Sentences – Short Stories to Die For.