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Sub-editor's first novel centres on 'dark side' of home city…

A Yorkshire sub-editor is celebrating after publication of his first novel.

Julian Cole, deputy chief sub (features) at The Press, in York, has spent three years researching and writing The Amateur Historian.

The book is set in York and centres on Frank Helmsley – a historian who kidnaps the daughter of a wealthy family in a bid to right a 100-year-old injustice committed in the city.

Also central to The Amateur Historian are the tale’s heroes – the Rounder brothers.

Sam is York Police’s chief inspector while Rick is an ex-copper turned private investigator and together they investigate the kidnapping.

The pair will reappear in Julian’s next novel, which he has already started.

Julian, (51), who also writes columns and TV reviews for the paper, said: “I have written three books but this is the first to be published.

“It has been a hobby but it’s been quite hard to write when you’re surrounded by words all day. It took three years but I first started writing about 12 years ago.

“I’ve written two others which have not been published. I went to an evening writing class for a year and that got me going.”

Some of the research for the book, crammed into his free evenings and weekends, was based on Seebohm Rowntree’s study on poverty in York published in 1901.

Some of the book recalls the slum dwellers of a century ago and the levels of poverty they had to endure initially inspired Julian to write the book.

He also spent hours researching at the York archives to fill in background about the time.

The Amateur Historian is on sale at Borders in York and is expected to be on sale at Borders store nationwide.