THE latest crime novel by Ayrshire author - and former Cumnock Chronicle editor - Douglas Skelton has been picking up rave reviews.

A Thief's Justice is his second historical thriller featuring Jonas Flynt, a thief, gambler and sometimes killer.

Jonas is part of ther Company of Rogues, a covert security agency operating working in the early reign of King George I.

Set in London in 1716, it sees Flynt investigate the murder of a justice, in the hope of clearing the name of the accused, a young male sex worker who has been thrown into the hellscape of Newgate Prison.

But the bodies start to pile up as Flynt attempts to save the boy from the gallows.

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It's an intense, gritty thriller which will quickly hook you into the lives of the some of London's most downtrodden in the early 18th century.

Douglas turned to historical fiction after the success of his much loved Davie McCall series set in Glasgow's gangland. The four books won him widespread acclaim and the final one, Open Wounds, was listed for the McIlvanney Prize 2016 as best Crime Book of the Year.

His five book series featuring reporter Rebecca Connolly has also won rave reviews - and a legion of dedicated fans. The third book in the series, 2019's A Rattle of Bones, was also listed for the McIlvanney Prize.

Earlier, he authored a number of true crime books, including the definitive story of Glasgow's Ice Cream Wars.

His writing career began to take off big time in the 2010s, when he left the Cumnock Chronicle after many years as editor to concentrate on his novels.

He has also featured in recent crime documentaries, including last year's Once Upon a True Crime, which saw him join other top crime writers Denise Mina, Mark Billingham and Peter James looking at real life casesd which inspired their writing. Douglas' episode focused on the Ice Cream Wars.

A Thief's Justice is available now in hardback from all good booksellers.