The weekend stretched ahead of him, one football game the extent of his plans. His living room was wreathed in shadows and cigarette smoke. He kept thinking of selling the flat, finding somewhere with fewer ghosts. Then again, they were the only company he had: dead colleagues, victims, expired relationships. He reached again for the bottle, but it was empty. Stood up and watched the floor sway beneath him. He thought he had a fresh bottle in the carrier bag beneath the window, but the bag was empty and crumpled. He looked out of his window, catching his reflection and its puzzled frown. Had he left a bottle in the car? Had he brought home two bottles or just one? He thought of a dozen places where he could get a drink. The city – his city – was out there waiting for him, waiting to show its dark, shrivelled heart.
Ian Rankin: Set in Darkness