A NEWLY published crime thriller by Arran’s Ian McMurdo is set in various locations across Ayrshire.

Ian, who has previously written the successful books Knockshinnoch and Arran: Travels, Treasures and Tales, has turned his hand to fiction for the first time.

The retired director of education lives with his wife Nan and their two dogs in the village of Kildonan, on the southernmost tip of the island of Arran.

He remains a well-known educational commentator and this is now his sixth book.

The book tells the story of young student, Ricky Anderson, who appears to have the world at his feet.

He is a budding nuclear physicist par excellence, has rugged good looks, a gorgeous girlfriend, job offers aplenty – in fact, he has it all.

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Well, almost all. His beloved mother has lost her way in life ever since the heartbreaking day when her husband died in a horrific road traffic accident, and her life is spiralling out of control.

Now the mixed fortunes of mother and son are about to meet head-on in another devastating “car crash”, as Ricky goes on the run for a crime he didn’t commit – and there’s a whole cast of cops, corrupt politicians, seedy businessmen and ruthless underworld enforcers on his trail.

Can Ricky outwit his pursuers and prove his own innocence, or is he really a dead man walking?

The book is set in the 1970s, and readers will enjoy the memory of place and events of the time.

Starting at the fictional village of Glenside, loosely based on New Cumnock, the story sees Ricky in Ayr, Cumnock, Glasgow, Girvan, and on the run in the Galloway Forest.

Speaking on his journey to crime-writing, Ian said: “I suppose I felt that I was becoming a bit too familiar and comfortable with the formulaic processes and intensive research involved in writing factual accounts about real situations and real events.

“Then one day I just made the decision to fly by the seat of my pants, trust my imagination instead and think outside the box.”

The novel is also published by Carn Publishing of Ayrshire.

The book can be bought here, at Waterstones in Ayr, Amazon, and any bookshop.