A CRIME writer took inspiration from his hometown for his latest grisly release.

Chris Wheeler, who goes by the name CJ Grayson, has released his second novel ‘ That Night’ independently published through Amazon, and the first in a crime trilogy set in Darlington.

The plot of the novel follows local detectives, DI Max Byrd and DI Orion Tanzy, along with a team of forensics, as they are called to a crime scene in the early hours after a woman and a baby have been abducted.

When a grisly murder occurs shortly after, the detectives need to determine if this is the work of a serial killer.

“I’ve always enjoyed reading crime fiction, ever since I was a teenager,” said Mr Wheeler.

“For me, the crime genre has the biggest spectrum in books as it has so many elements. It’s thrilling and exciting, and personally I love the science behind the forensics and the intelligence behind investigations.

“The idea for the first novel came from the fact that my wife always looses her phone, and it occurred to me one day ‘what would happen if a stranger happened to pick it up while they were in the house?

“The story just developed from there.”

Mr Wheeler said that he hopes readers will fall in love with his characters in the same way he has.

“DI Byrd and DI Tanzy are opposites in many ways – but that’s what makes them work as a team,” he said. “They naturally bounce off each other.”

In just five days of its digital release ‘That Night’ had raked up nearly 100 reviews on Amazon and over 100 Kindle downloads.

“I’m really happy with how it’s been received so far,” said Mr Wheeler. “When I wrote my first novel I decided that if only one person read the novel and enjoyed it then I had done my job as a writer.”

Mr Wheeler, who works as a test technician for Cummins Engine Plant in Darlington, released his first crime novel ‘Someone’s There’, which took around four years to write and is set in Luton.

“It’s hard juggling a full-time job and a family of three boys whilst finding time to write, but it’s my passion.

“I actually chose the name CJ Grayson because it’s a nod to my children Cameron, Jackson and Grayson.”

All CJ Grayson’s books are available from Amazon and online at Waterstones.