Harper dares with Alistair MacLean reissue

<p>HarperCollins will reissue a series of novels about an international crimefighting organisation by the author of <em>Where Eagles Dare</em> next spring.</p><p>Publication of the series by Alistair MacLean will complete HarperCollins&rsquo; repackaging of his backlist. The publisher has already reissued 29 MacLean novels, including <em>The Guns of Navarone, </em>and <em>Ice Station Zebra</em><em>.</em></p><p>Five titles will be reissued in paperback in March 2010, with the remaining five to follow in the autumn. The series was originally published in the 1980s and 90s and follows the United Nations Anti-Crime Organisation (Unaco), a team of crimefighters combating terrorism.</p><p>The first book, <em>Hostage Tower,</em> is about a criminal who kidnaps the mother of the US president and holds her to ransom on top of the Eiffel Tower. Tasked with rescuing her is Unaco, comprising a weapons expert, a cat burglar and a man blessed with extraordinary strength and cunning.</p><p>The series and the characters were created by MacLean but the books were developed and written by three authors: John Denis, Alistair MacNeil and Hugh Miller. </p><p>David Brawn, publishing director for estates, said: &ldquo;Because of his [MacLean&rsquo;s] film success, he was writing a lot of screenplays. It became much easier for him to write a film treatment and for other people to turn them into screenplays.&rdquo;</p><p>He added: &ldquo;They are great books for dads on holiday but they will appeal to new readers as well. You need to bear in mind that these were the bestselling titles of their day.&rdquo; Brawn added there are around a dozen of MacLean&rsquo;s unpublished works that could be adapted into new titles by other authors.</p><p>HarperCollins recently completed a deal for world rights to publish MacLean&rsquo;s e-books as well as securing merchandising rights to his entire backlist. Victoria Barnsley, c.e.o. and publisher, said: </p><p>&ldquo;It is a remarkable and consistently strong canon of work, and there is still huge potential worldwide for the books, for electronic publishing and for films, TV and merchandise.&rdquo; MacLean died in 1987.</p><p>Brawn said the deal was signed with a view to have his backlist adapted. He said: &ldquo;If you look at Robert Ludlum&rsquo;s <em>Jason Bourne</em> series, and how well its fortunes have fared, there&rsquo;s a great opportunity with Alistair&rsquo;s work.&rdquo;</p>