IT STARTS with a telephone call.

“I have some information which Amy really needs to know…concerning an event in the near future which will have a profound effect on her life,” retired firefighter John Braden tells the person on the other end of the line.

So begins a series of events in a new crime thriller that includes wrongful suspicion of harassment, the threat of terrorism and many unexpected twists and turns.

It certainly has West Yorkshire Police in knots. ‘They looked at their enquiry board. There were lines and arrows everywhere. Every name was connected to every incident, crossed and inked in again at a different point.’

Set in Bradford, Premonition is the fourth novel penned by author Ian McKnight, of Greengates, and a change from his previous relationship-based books.

Ian’s life experience is vast - he has lived all over the UK and worked in jobs ranging from IT specialist with Empire Stores in Bradford to pub landlord in Leeds, stately home worker in York and in Bridlington factory he was employed in a factory.

This has no doubt helped him to create believable characters and intriguing plotlines in this fast-paced tale with a plot that neatly knits together in 20 engrossing chapters.

For a time Ian wrote a column for the Bridlington Free Press, detailing his observations as a “Wessie” living on the east coast.

“We lived there for a couple of years,” says the Bradford-born author and former pupil of Grange Boys Grammar School in Great Horton. “It was really popular - I was not named so no-one knew who wrote it and I would hear people in the pub discussing it.”

His regular drinking haunt in Bradford, the Idle Draper, features in the book, as does wife Lorraine’s membership of a running club, which provided fodder for the book’s climax at the Bradford City Half Marathon.

‘Amy was doing her best to ignore the pain in her knee and tried to walk normally so as not to draw undue attention to herself,’ writes Ian. ‘So far, it seemed nobody had given her a second glance…She’d skirted the course by crossing Cheapside and walking up Kirkgate to its junction with Bank Street…All going to plan. When the runners arrived, all she had to do was unzip her coat, step forward towards the barriers, and pull the trigger.’

Aged 58 and now retired, he came to writing relatively late in life, long after the seed of a novel was sown. “Years ago, I was a studying at the University of Edinburgh and a fellow student and I used to tell each other stories,” recalls Ian. “He told me that I should write a book about my experiences as they were so amusing and interesting.”

Premonition sees Ian's central character John Braden attend the funeral of a friend. While leaving he loses consciousness due to a serious, soon-to-be-diagnosed health problem and has a premonition involving the deaths of more than 100 people including himself.

John remembers one of the names of those he ‘saw’ written on a memorial wall - local journalist Amy Winston - and contacts her to warn her of the impending threat to her life.

But, clearly, delivering such news is not plain sailing and she is alarmed by his shocking statements. His eagerness to talk to her leads to accusations of stalking. then the situation reaches a new level when terrorism rears its ugly head. A further hurdle is thrown into John’s path when he becomes the prime suspect.

Ian was inspired by the Irish-American novelist and playwright JP Donleavy, as well as classic American novels that he read in his youth such as JD Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye.

He is now working on a follow-up novel, which he says will also be based in Bradford. It does not yet have a title.

Ian is thoroughly enjoying his new-found pastime.

“I don’t know how I ever found time to work,” he laughs.

*Premonition by Ian McKnight is available from Amazon.