AN AUTHOR has finally released his debut crime novel, after having the first draft of his thriller stolen.

Robert Kraty, of Basingstoke, has published his first book, a crime thriller called Limestone Shakedown, which is available online.

In 2005, the aspiring author was living in London when he was writing the first version of the story.

After coming back from a holiday in Italy where he proposed to his now-wife, the pair discovered they had been victim of a crime themselves as Robert’s laptop had been stolen, and some other small items had also been taken.

This meant that the first draft of his book, along with many sentimental holiday photos, were lost with no backup copy.

Robert said: “It really knocked me back, but in a strange way, it might have helped slightly to have been forced to look at the story again.

“It might have helped to improve the book.

“It’s exciting now that it is done, and I’ve got the book in my hands, it feels like a real achievement.”

While it is a dream of Robert’s to be a full-time author, it is currently a hobby which has turned into reality.

When he was writing the book, he deliberately took the longer train to London to get a seat in order to write more of the book.

Robert added: “It’s been a case of enjoying reading and reading around. I think it helps that I have a quirky imagination and an original idea.

“I’d like to be a full-time author, but at the moment, it’s just a hobby.

“After finishing the book, I presented it to several publishers, but didn’t manage to get it published.

So I decided to publish it by myself online as that was the best route to take.”

The book revolves around Joe, a dishevelled British private investigator and an unconventional hero. Joe’s life unravels as he takes on a case to locate a missing girl.

He is forced to use his professional skills in new ways; to fake his own death, travel to sunny Malta and identify the kidnappers.

Robert’s book is available on Amazon.