A local author and director of Lyme Crime has published a new thriller which has already been a top ten bestseller on Amazon.

Paddy Magrane, who lives in Shute, has released Red Desert, which is published exclusively on Audible, and says it is a high-octane conspiracy thriller for fans of Jack Reacher, Jason Bourne and Homeland.

The story follows Tom, who desperate to escape the past, swaps a safe life in London for a spell in the desert of Iraq, providing therapy to the staff of an isolated oil concession. But his new job quickly becomes dangerous, especially when he starts to ask too many questions about a series of deaths. A lethal attack on the camp sends him back to the UK, but he’s determined to keep investigating.

Mr Magrane, the author of thrillers Disorder and Denial, said: “The audiobook was about to go into production when the lockdown began and I honestly thought it would never happen, particularly after the Audible studio was forced to shut down. But the team then found Joe Jameson, a fantastic narrator who also happens to have a home studio. His narration is first class and I’m thrilled with the result - and the chart position.”

Lyme Crime, the crime and thriller festival that Mr Magrane hoped to launch at the Marine Theatre in Lyme Regis in June 2020, is now rescheduled for June 2021.