Solo cover to sport 'bullet holes'

The cover for the new James Bond novel, Solo, written by William Boyd, will feature a retro-inspired design with die-cut bullet holes.

Boyd's novel, published by Jonathan Cape, will be out on 26th September.

The package, revealed today, features a red cover with a predominantly black dust jacket, and has been designed by Random House creative director Suzanne Dean. Dean said: "A new Bond cover needs to do a lot of things at once. It needs to appeal to literary and commercial audiences, both fans of the original 14 Fleming books and film fans. It needs to reflect both the content of the novel and capture the reader’s imagination.

‘William Boyd has chosen to set Solo in 1969, and achieving this period feel was one of my core aims when designing the cover, whilst also ensuring that the book retained a fresh and contemporary lay-out.  I didn’t want just to depict a cinematic image, but rather to try and reflect the essence of Ian Fleming’s original novels as well William Boyd’s own take on James Bond."

She added: "I used the title of the book—Solo—as my starting point. In the book, Bond goes on an unauthorised solo mission, recklessly motivated by revenge. I had always been keen, since finding out the title, that there might be a way to use the two o’s within Solo and link it to the zeros in 007… The die cut holes in the dust jacket are an abstraction of bullet holes, and represent a pivotal part of the novel."

A version of the cover will also be featured on the audiobook edition of the novel, which is to be read by "The Wire" actor Dominic West. Richard Cable, m.d. of Vintage Publishing, said: "We are thrilled to have such a distinguished actor as Dominic West reading Solo. It’s the perfect combination of reader and text. Audio listeners are in for a real treat."