Fraserburgh-born Alistair Smith, who now lives in Australia, has had his first novel – an international thriller – published at the age of 69, with two of its main characters depicted as Aberdonians.
The Eighth Day tells of a desperate bid to thwart a planned coup in China in the lead up to the Beijing Olympics – a topical subject with London staging the Games this year.
Mr Smith’s parents lived in College Bounds and he briefly attended primary school in the Broch before his parent moved to Cults, just outside Aberdeen.
Smith started work as a journalist in Aberdeen when he left Gordon’s College, later moving to Fife before being recruited by the largest newspaper group in Australia to write for its Melbourne publications.
In recent years he has regularly picked up awards for his travel writing, and it was a lengthy trip along the Silk Road through remote areas of western China and into the former Soviet states of Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan that inspired his fictional work.
The action sweeps across the globe from these exotic ancient Silk Road cities to the bustling streets of modern day Istanbul, from Melbourne’s Chinatown to the secluded world of Oxford’s academia as Mack Macdonald, a former special ops soldier, and the beautiful Sally Chong, become key figures in the race to thwart the plot.
Meanwhile, behind the scenes, a spymaster and the leader of a secret society are pulling all the strings.
The Eighth Day is available through Amazon either as a paperback (£₤7.88) or as an E-book (₤£2.66).
Mr Smith’s website, www.alistairsmith.info, has pages of pictures taken by the author at these locations and also contains further details of the book.