“The travelling companion” by Ian Rankin – Book Review #bibliomysteries

Open Road Media have published a series of Bibliomysteries (Short tales about deadly books, by top mystery authors).  I have read three of them.  The first one I read and enjoyed was by Elizabeth George called “The mysterious disappearance of the reluctant book fairy” ; the second was the wonderful “Every seven years” by Denise Mina.

The blurb from Open Road Media:  

A thrilling new novella about a Jekyll and Hyde–obsessed Scot in Paris from the international bestselling author of the Inspector Rebus mysteries.

For recent college graduate Ronald Hastie, a job at the legendary Shakespeare and Company bookshop offers the perfect occupation during a summer abroad in Paris. Working part-time in exchange for room and board leaves plenty of freedom to explore the city once visited by his literary hero, Robert Louis Stevenson, and things only get better when he meets a collector who claims to have the original manuscripts of both the first draft of Jekyll and Hyde and the never-published The Travelling Companion (both thought to have been destroyed). Then Ron meets the man’s mysterious assistant, and a reckless obsession stirs inside him. As the life he knew back home in Scotland fades from memory, he desperately seeks the secret lying within Stevenson’s long-lost pages. . . .

Book divider line

The story opens with a young man from Edinburgh on a summer trip to Paris.  He is a literature major at university and he is writing his thesis on Robert Louis Stevenson who spent a fair bit of time in Paris.  He gets a job at the infamous bookshop “Shakespeare & Co.” where he does minimal labor in return for a place to sleep.

Shakespeare and Company Bookshop Paris, France

Shakespeare and Company Bookshop
Paris, France

Robert Louis Stevenson

Robert Louis Stevenson

Much like the character in Stevenson’s novel “The strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde”, the young man transforms from a nice young college student to something far darker once he roams the streets of Paris and meets an intriguing book collector and an enigmatic young woman named Alice.

An intriguing and somewhat melancholy story, “The travelling companion” is a quick and entertaining read.

Thanks to Open Road Media via NetGalley for providing me with this novella for review purposes.

F 3.5 star

about the author green

Ian Rankin

Ian Rankin

Ian Rankin is the successful and bestselling author of the Rebus series of novels featuring the curmudgeonly detective John Rebus.  He is the recipient of four Crime Writers’ Association Dagger Awards including the prestigious Diamond Dagger in 2005. In 2004, Ian won America’s celebrated Edgar Award for Resurrection Men. He has also been shortlisted for the Edgar and Anthony Awards in the USA, and won Denmark’s Palle Rosenkrantz prize, the French Grand Prix du Roman Noir and Germany’s Deutscher Krimipreis.

About Fictionophile

Fiction reviewer ; Goodreads librarian. Retired library cataloger - more time to read! Loves books, gardening, and red wine. I have been a reviewer member of NetGalley since October 2013. I review titles offered by Edelweiss, and participate in blog tours with TLC Book Tours.
This entry was posted in Book Reviews, NetGalley, Novellas and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to “The travelling companion” by Ian Rankin – Book Review #bibliomysteries

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  4. FictionFan says:

    I’m very jealous! Rankin is one of my favourite authors and I’d love to read this but as far as I can see it hasn’t been published in the UK. Can’t imagine why! Hopefully it’ll arrive here one day…


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