AN AUTHOR has had this third book published after writing a darkly comic crime novella.

Lee Sykes has penned Benediction For A Thief (The Atherton Town Escapades), which he believes is the first work of fiction set exclusively in Atherton.

The story follows Jacob Gibfield, who after being sacked in disgrace, cashes in on his reputation for doing favours by opening up the town’s first Private Investigations firm in an attempt to claw back a bit of respect.

But his new choice of career, alongside people out for revenge for a previous escapade, bring bigger problems that being laughed at in Market Street by the local priest.

Things start to spiral and he needs all the help he can get from his old mates, including the likes of the Lieutenant and boxer on the skids The Hag Fold Hurricane.

Lee says the story covers a wide range of themes including mental illness and drugs.

It sees the genre of the P.I, which inspired writers such as Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett and Walter Mosley being transferred to a northern town in England.

"A lot of it is to do with what would happen if that was spun to a small town town in England," said Lee, 38.

"When I was writing it, it ended up being a comic series of mishaps rather than an adventure story. Anyone who has read Walter Mosley will see the the parallels.

"It tries to demystify mental illness, there is a lot in there."

Benediction for a Thief is available in paperback on Amazon and on Kindle and from 9 Realms on Market Street, Atherton.