Rebus author Ian Rankin is set to complete an unfinished novel by the ‘Godfather of Tartan Nior’ William McIlvanney.
McIlanney started writing the novel, a prequel to his Laidlaw stories, before his death in 2015.
Canongate publishers confirmed the news on Saturday and said the completed work of The Dark Remains will be available in 2021.
First released between 1977 and 1991, the three Glasgow-based Laidlaw books have been cited as an inspiration for a generation of crime writers.
Canongate republished the original trilogy in 2013 and it proved to be a major success all over again, with the response inspiring McIlvanney to begin a fourth instalment.
The story of Laidlaw’s first ever case was left unfinished when McIlvanney died two years ago.
The completion of the story has now been entrusted to Rankin.
Posting on Twitter Canongate said: “Willie passed away 5 years ago today. Having believed for years he’d been forgotten, in that period of two years after republication he was left in absolutely no doubt how revered he was by the crime writing community, and the writing world at large. It moved him hugely.
“And, it turns out, it also inspired him. Because, when he passed away, he had started writing a new Laidlaw book for the first time in decades: the story of Laidlaw’s first ever case. Sadly it was left unfinished…but we knew exactly who McIlvanney would have entrusted it to.”