Ian Rankin has announced there will be new novel featuring his iconic detective protagonist John Rebus in autumn 2018.
The novel will be published by the Orion Publishing Group in hardback, e-book and audiobook, with a paperback to follow in 2019. No details about the forthcoming book's title or plot have yet been revealed.
The book is part of a new signed deal with Rankin, struck by group publisher Jon Wood, which also includes a second book under contract.
Rankin disclosed the news live on-stage at the Edinburgh International Book Festival on Friday night (25th August), the city where celebrations were held in the company of 1,800 fans last month to mark the 30th anniversary of Rankin's first Rebus title at RebusFest.
Highlights from the event included interviews with Rankin in conversation about Rebus and special guests Blue Rose Code, Michael Weston King and Kirsty Law, as well as trails and tours at the National Museum of Scotland, Walking Tours of Rebus’s Edinburgh and a RebusFest Quiz at The Caledonian Hotel.
According to Orion, sales of Rebus novels have grown in 2017, with sales of Rather be the Devil up 10% in its paperback edition compared with the previous novel, Even Dogs in the Wild (Orion).
Other highlights of the "Rebus 30" year include a special edition Highland Park Rebus 30 whisky and events at the Harrogate Crime Writing Festival, the Hay Festival and Cheltenham Literature Festival.
Rankin said John Rebus seemed to be more popular than ever and hailed his editor Jon Wood, group publisher at the Orion Publishing Group, as "indefatigable".
“After 30 years and 21 novels, John Rebus seems to have more fans than ever – and luckily for me there’s still plenty of life (and fight) in the old dog," said Rankin. "Rebus has been proud to call Orion his home for his various adventures and it’s a thrill and privilege for me to say that a further instalment will arrive in 2018, published by Orion, overseen by my indefatigable editor, Jon Wood. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to spend some time with an old friend…”
Wood commented: “Thirty years in, and John Rebus continues to constantly develop; surprise; entertain and amaze. That’s a huge tribute to Ian Rankin’s consistent observational and narrative brilliance, and I also know that as both his publisher and as a fan, am delighted to getting him back for another case next year.”