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Westwind: The classic lost thriller

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3.40  ·  Rating details ·  605 ratings  ·  84 reviews

THE CLASSIC LOST THRILLER FROM THE ICONIC NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER

* * * * *

It always starts with a small lie. That's how you stop noticing the bigger ones.

After his friend suspects something strange going on at the launch facility where they both work - and then goes missing - Martin Hepton doesn't believe the official line of "long-term sick leave"...

Refusing to stop

...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published November 12th 2019 by Orion (first published 1990)
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Average rating 3.40  · 
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Paromjit
Nov 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ian Rankin wrote this in the early part of his writing career, at the beginning of the 1990s, a what would then have been a futuristic thriller. It never made much of a splash at the time, Rankin has lightly rewritten aspects of it for Orion to republish it now. It is not a bad thriller, but this is Rankin developing his writing skills that culminate in the Inspector Rebus series, set in Edinburgh, that made his name. His reputation is now such that anything with his name on it will fly off the ...more
Ceecee
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ian Rankin is one of my favourite authors and I’ve read most of his books but somehow missed this one when it was first published. However, as the author explains in the introduction it was overlooked in 1990, so no surprise then! This is a republication with a bit of ‘tweaking’, of the late 80’s work. This period of time is very different to ours in that mobile phones aren’t in wide use but there are car phones, people use philofax for their contacts/appointments etc instead of iPhones, ...more
Nigel
Nov 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, arc
This is by Ian Rankin, an author I've enjoyed for many years now. However this is a book I'd not come across. It was first published in 1990 in the early part of his career. It is a standalone thriller. Martin Hepton works at a satellite communications facility. Something strange happens one day. After that one of the people he works with goes missing and Martin does not believe the official line. He keeps asking questions but that might cause him trouble.

This republication of a "lost" thriller
...more
Ian Brydon
Nov 11, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I spent many years as a tax inspector so I have to acknowledge that a fair degree of cycnism may have come to contaminate my view of the world. This came to the fore when I read about Ian Rankin’s latest book which was a slight reworking of an earlier novel, published without conspicuous success nearly thirty years ago. That inner tax inspector was trying, most insistently, to suggest that if an early book from a notable writer has sunk, the most likely reason was that he had not yet found his ...more
Sharon
Nov 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Westwind (1990) IAN RANKIN.
REISSUE DUE 14 NOVEMBER 2019. PRE ORDERED IBOOK. Could never find this book! Have read all by this writer. Out of print for 30 years! Very nice preface written by the writer.

A quiet start to this read but it’s quite a thriller! Storyline set in the late 80s easily could be happening for real in our current world politics, which makes it a chilling and thought provoking read!

Martin Hepton suspects things happening at the facility he works at are not quite right and
...more
David Highton
An early Rankin novel (written after only one Rebus novel had been published) and reissued 30 years later. Not a bad book at all - a fast-paced conspiracy thriller.
Bettie
Nov 09, 2019 marked it as wish-list  ·  review of another edition


Ian Rankin is set to relaunch espionage thriller Westwind on Thursday, which has been out of print since its first edition of just 1,000 copies in 1990. the scotsman
Tim
Dec 31, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Well, this is depressing.

One star but it should be no stars.

Writers write because they have something to say or they want to entertain; they may right because they want to earn a living. All fine reasons, especially when they coincide.

Ian Rankin has something to say, and has said it well, with his award-winning, bestselling series featuring the Harry Bosch of Edinburgh, Detective Inspector John Rebus. Rebus has entertained me, and millions of others, for a very long time and has earned his
...more
Bookreporter.com Mystery & Thriller
First published in 1990, WESTWIND provides readers and longtime fans of Ian Rankin with a look at his writing style prior to his now-legendary series featuring Scottish Detective Inspector John Rebus. In fact, Rankin states that the original copies of the book probably could be found only on the dusty shelves of used bookshops or well-stocked libraries. At the time, he thought it would be a big flop and was actually surprised how insightful and entertaining it was upon revisiting it.

Rankin made
...more
Kim
Dec 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Setting: UK & USA; 1990. This is a re-release of a book originally published in 1990 but whose sales were distinctly average at the time. Set in an 'alternative' Europe, American troops have been told to withdraw from their UK bases. Martin Hepton works at a satellite tracking station in the UK where their top satellite, Zephyr, suddenly goes offline for several minutes - an unexpectedly long time for such an event. Although all seems fine when Zephyr's functions return, one of Martin's ...more
David
Some time ago on Twitter, I mentioned that I had read this book twice. Ian Rankin responded that that was one more time than he had read it. Not long after that, it seems, or perhaps even not long before that – I’m not exactly sure on the sequence of events — Rankin begin to suggest that this long out-of-print techno thriller novel, that had never joined earlier reissues like The Flood and Watchman, might actually see a reprint after all. On my third reading of the novel I found it even more ...more
Jamie Bowen
Dec 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, ian-rankin
This is a very early book written by Ian Rankin, now republished as the lost thriller after he’s made a few tweaks to it. Martin Hepton works at a listening post in the UK, it is a time of political turbulence with America retreating within itself and pulling its troops out of Europe, while the UK becomes more entwined into the European community. When a colleague comes across some suspect code with one of their satellites, they become part of a much bigger plot than they can ever have imagined. ...more
Dawn Marsanne
Although a fast paced thriller with many exciting sequences I found the actual plot hard to follow.
In the end I gave up trying to remember who everyone was and just read it to get to the end.
There wasn't enough explanation of the technical details to make the story engaging or believable.
Monique
Jan 05, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
An ok read, but not really a topic I enjoy.
The low rating would be more due to the topic rather than the writer's craft.
The author's notes were interesting, it's amazing how far technology has advanced since he first wrote the book.
Dave
Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Extremely disappointing.
Ian Rankin is one of my favourite authors. His Rebus novels are excellent and I was really looking forward to reading this book. In fact I asked for it as a Christmas gift.
My copy had an introduction by the author. He state that after reading through the original copy of Westwind, he only made a few alterations.
My thought is that a rewrite and updating would have been more appropriate. I also wonder why his agent and publisher allowed this book to be re released. Being
...more
Mike
Jan 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not in the same league as Rankin's Inspector Rebus books: the characters are thin and the situations sometimes contrived. Nevertheless it's a good read, and keeps you turning pages until the end.
Caroline Kelly
This was the first book I started and finished in 2020. In fact, the first book of the new decade! It was a Christmas gift from my mum who knows I am a huge Ian Rankin fan.
Ian Rankin is most famous for his Detective Rebus novels. This is not a Detective Rebus novel. Nor is this a new novel by Ian Rankin. It was originally published in 1990s. It wasn’t the success we now associate Rankin with. After some persuasion by his loyal readers, Rankin has lightly updated this and Orion republished the
...more
Ray Palen
Jan 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally published in the year 1990, WESTWIND provides readers and long-time fans of author Ian Rankin with a look at his writing style prior to his now-legendary series featuring Scottish Detective Inspector John Rebus. In fact, Rankin states that the original copies of WESTWIND could probably only be found on the dusty shelves of used bookshops or well-stocked libraries. At the time, Rankin thought WESTWIND would be a big flop and was actually surprised when he revisited it prior to its ...more
Andy Cunningham
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
idreamofallthebooks
Discover the lost classic from iconic number one bestseller, Ian Rankin – The bigger the lie, the harder the truth is to believe…

Though I have not yet had the opportunity to read any of Ian Rankin’s other works, my mum is a huge fan of John Rebus and it was she that chose this as my latest read! (As you avid bookworms would know, we sometimes get a little too caught up in the mountain that is our TBR piles, and it takes a special someone to select our next book!)

As I read this story, I was
...more
Christina
This early Ian Rankin shows the promise of the greatness to come.

***/5

"After his friend suspects something strange going on at the launch facility where they both work - and then goes missing - Martin Hepton doesn't believe the official line of "long-term sick leave"...
Refusing to stop asking questions, he leaves his old life behind, aware that someone is shadowing his every move.
The only hope he has is his ex-girlfriend Jill Watson - the only journalist who will believe his story.
But neither
...more
Joanna Beesley
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have read several of Ian Rankin’s novels before, mainly the ‘Rebus’ stories which I always find so compelling. This was certainly a different read for this author and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Reading the forward, I was intrigued that this was originally published some years ago and had been slightly revised for a second publication.

The story centres a Martin Hepton, who works at a central monitoring unit. Something strange happens when the satellite is down for a few minutes. Martin is
...more
Traci
Feb 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was a bit hesitant to read this, as there was one review on Amazon when I first requested the title. And that review was NOT kind, said that this thing should never had been dug up and put back out to the public again, etc. My husband and I both enjoy Rankin's work, so I decided to take a chance. Turns out, it was a pretty good book. But I think we both kept in mind that it was one of his first works, that while he did edit it a bit before this run, he didn't change much, and as such, we were ...more
Martyn Tilse
Dec 29, 2019 rated it liked it
“Westwind” isn’t the latest high flying suspenseful novel by Ian Rankin! It was written in 1990 and published back then without rocking too many foundations or breaking too many windows! It was, as Ian Rankin confessed, less than successful!

But i’m glad it was re-released! It is a satisfying Post-Xmas read! The baddies are bad, the goodies fight hard and the girl is worth fighting for! The plot is not inconceivable and the writing Rankinesk! There are twists and turns, suspense and surprise!

I
...more
K.J. Shadmand
This is one of Ian Rankin’s early books, and though it held my attention, I felt it had the hallmarks of a young, inexperienced writer who would grow in confidence as his career progressed. The plot is brisk and is the book is perhaps most fascinating for the glimpses it gives into early 1990s technology - characters use phone boxes, landlines and the author seems to rather obsess over central locking! Ultimately, there was a lot of intrigue that concluded with a murmur rather than a bang ...more
Sarah England
Hmmm. You can certainly tell it's early Rankin, and well before he hit his stride with Rebus. Just an uncomfortable read in many ways - I actually cringed whilst reading a lot of the dialogue. Moreover, writing books about technology in this day and age is sure to date very quickly. This was initially published in 1990, and it's made how much things have changed since... in this novel central locking on a car is an indication of glitz novelty. Wouldn't say it was a page turner, despite being a ...more
Alastair Scollay
Jan 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
As a longtime fan of Ian Rankin, I was curious to know how this one would compare to the genius that is the Rebus series.

Over the Christmas break, I got the chance to find out. This is a fast-paced spy thriller with a well developed range of characters including the main protagonist Martin Hepton and the woman who evolves into his nemesis, Harry. It also
envisages an interesting alternative reality where US forces are kicked out of Europe leading to tensions between government and military.

I’d
...more
Terry Slaven
Jan 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This classic “lost” thriller was written early in Ian Rankin’s career and has been republished recently with an interesting new foreword. It is a techno-thriller with a very complicated plot centering around nefarious uses of surveillance satellites. There is much action, and an intriguing background of geopolitical turmoil as changes erupt in the relationships among the diplomatic and military establishments of the U.S., the U.K., and Europe. I was fortunate to snag an autographed copy of the ...more
Gerard Bond
Jan 16, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I had high expectations of a new Ian Rankin book and saved it to be a holiday read.
Unfortunately, I feel like I have been totally ripped off by an author regurgitating and old story that was way below the standard that he has regularly achieved with the Rebus and other books.
To be frank, it was absolute tosh!
The story was weak. It felt like he had tried to create a UK Tom Clancy, but fell way short.
We've been fooled into a pure profit generating action by Rankin and his publisher.
Don't be
...more
Peter Doherty
I liked this book very much - with a few caveats.

In the preface the author tells us that this is one of his early works published before Rebus had taken off and he acknowledges that he mucked about with it an awful lot - mainly on the instructions of others who supposedly were attempting to knock the novel - and aspiring new author? - into ‘shape’. What we get is a novel with too many stereotypical characters. What we also get is a novel about spies etc that has a distinct filmic feel.

...more
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Kindle English My...: Westwind, by Ian Rankin 1 10 Oct 23, 2019 03:39AM  

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AKA Jack Harvey.

Born in the Kingdom of Fife in 1960, Ian Rankin graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1982 and then spent three years writing novels when he was supposed to be working towards a PhD in Scottish Literature. His first Rebus novel was published in 1987; the Rebus books are now translated into 22 languages and are bestsellers on several continents.

Ian Rankin has been elected a
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