Orion to publish lost Rankin novel in November

Orion to publish lost Rankin novel in November

Orion Fiction is to publish Westwind in November, a “lost” Ian Rankin novel which has been out of print for nearly 30 years.

Publisher Emad Akhtar scooped UK and Commonwealth rights for the espionage thriller from Peter Robinson at Rogers, Coleridge & White. It will be released in hardback on 14th November.

Westwind was Rankin's fourth novel and has been out of print since just 1,000 hardback editions were published in 1990. Rankin recently re-read the book for the first time since its release after a fan mentioned how much they enjoyed it. He and Akhtar returned to the manuscript, changing several aspects from the first edition so it was ready to join his backlist.

Orion said the tale of spies, satellites and a global conspiracy of sinister surveillance was “strikingly relevant in today’s political climate”.

Its synopsis reads: “In Europe, the Americans are pulling out their troops in a tide of isolationism. Britain, torn between loyalties to America and the continent, is caught betwixt and between. In America, a space shuttle crashes on landing, killing all but one of the crew on-board: A British man named Mike Dreyfuss, who will become vilified by the US press and protesters.

“Halfway across the world, Martin Hepton, an English ground control technician watches as they lose contact with the most advanced satellite in Europe. A colleague of Hepton's who suspects something strange is going on is signed off sick, and never comes back. But there is much more at stake than anyone realises - and many more people on their trail than they can possibly evade...”

The new edition also features an introduction by Rankin and will be supported by a major publicity and marketing campaign.

It follows on the heels of In A House Of Lies (Orion), which stormed the bestseller lists, shifting 260,930 print copies for £2.1m in the UK. In paperback alone it racked up Rankin’s biggest week in the number one spot for nearly 10 years and improved on 2017’s Rather Be the Devil’s first full week on sale by 10,000 copies.