ILKLEY-based author Antony Dunford has released his debut thriller, Hunted.

Published by Hobeck Books on January 26, 2021, the book is an action-adventure thriller set in Kenya.

It features ex-Norwegian special forces officer Jane Haven in the first of a planned series of novels.

Once a member of the world’s first all-female special forces unit, the Norwegian Hunter Troop, Jane Haven is now helping her father Kennet to protect some of the world’s last remaining male Northern White rhino, Jane returns to find a scene of devastation and murder.

Everything and everyone Jane cares for is affected.

But before she can track down the killers, Jane finds that she’s the one being hunted.

Described by one reviewer as “one of the debuts of the year,” Hunted has been shortlisted for the 2020 Grindstone Literary Novel Prize.

The publication of the novel is the culmination of a life-long dream for the author, 49, whose family have lived in Ilkley for forty years.

A graduate of the Crime Fiction Masters course in Crime Fiction Writing at the University of East Anglia, Mr Dunford was inspired to write Hunted after he was given the chance to spend the day as a rhino keeper at Knowsley Safari Park near Liverpool.

“I fell in love with these wonderful animals that day,” says Mr Dunford. “The keeper there allowed me to apply sun cream to a Southern White rhino called Winnie. The skin behind Winnie’s ears was so soft, a cross between velvet and satin. I hope my novel will help to throw focus on the plight of rhinos in the wild, and how poaching is pushing them towards extinction.”

Hobeck Books co-director Adrian Hobart said: “Hunted had us gripped from the opening paragraph. Antony is a brilliant author, and in Jane Haven he’s created a heroine for the Extinction Rebellion generation. We can’t wait to publish more adventures featuring this compelling character, and we think readers will be carried away into the beauty of the African bush by Antony’s superb writing.”

Born in Bradford, Antony Dunford has always found inspiration from his West Yorkshire roots, and remembers a visit to Haworth and Bronte country as a boy as the point where literature became important to him.

He began writing a few years later, but it was the MA course in Crime Fiction Writing at the University of East Anglia that gave him the confidence to finish his first novel.

He had previously had several short stories published and nominated for awards.

Visit his website for more details:

Hunted: Publication date: 26th January 2021. Publisher: Hobeck Books Ltd, UK

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-913-793-06-7

RRP: £9.99

eBook ISBN: 978-1-913-793-07-4

RRP: £2.99