Robert Harris' next novel, V2, will be published in September 2020.
Hutchinson publishing director Jocasta Hamilton acquired UK and Commonwealth rights direct from the author. V2 will be published by Hutchinson in hardback, audio and e-book on 17th September.
The V2 campaign during the Second World War forms the backdrop to the new novel. On the brink of defeat, Hitler commissioned 10,000 V2s–ballistic rockets that carried a one-ton warhead at three times the speed of sound, which he believed would win the war.
"Dr Rudi Graf, who, along with his friend Werner von Braun, had once dreamt of sending a rocket to the moon, now finds himself in November 1944 in a bleak seaside town in Occupied Holland, launching V2s against London. No one understands the volatile, deadly machine better than Graf, but his disillusionment with the war leads to him being investigated for sabotage," reads the synopsis. "Kay Caton-Walsh, an officer in the WAAF, has experienced first-hand the horror of a V2 strike. When 160 Londoners, mostly women and children, are killed by a single missile, the government decides to send a team of WAAFs to newly liberated Belgium in the hope of discovering the location of the launch sites. But not all the Germans have left and Kay finds herself in mortal danger. As the war reaches its desperate end, their twin stories play out, interlocked and separate, until their destinies are finally forced together."
Harris said: "This year marks the 30th anniversary of my joining Hutchinson, and this will be the sixth of my novels to be edited by Jocasta. I am very lucky to have such brilliant publishers, who have always encouraged me to keep writing about different things, from ancient Roman to artificial intelligence. V2 is a return to my original fascination with the moral dilemmas of working under the Nazis."
Hamilton added: "Tense, shocking and absolutely gripping, V2, like Munich, enables the reader to view the Second World War from an entirely new perspective. We’re absolutely delighted to be continuing Hutchinson’s long-standing, bestselling relationship with Robert."
V2 is Harris' 14th novel. Through the Nielsen BookScan TCM in the UK he has sold 4.37 million books for £33.5m, with 2008's The Ghost (Arrow) his bestseller at 350,819 copies sold in paperback.