A BRIGHTLINGSEA author is preparing to publish his debut novel – which is set in his hometown.

Jim Westover’s newest book Penknife, which centres on a timely coming of age story, will hit shelves – both physical and digital - on November 1.

The plot, set against a backdrop of the miners’ strike, follows rebel Jarrod Brook upon his return to Brightlingsea after being expelled from a state boarding school.

After finding out his mum has given his bedroom to a striking miner, he embarks on a summer of petty criminality while trying to impress outspoken young feminist Verity.

The consequences of a drunken night, however, soon test the limits of friendship and show how a well-meaning and quite innocent young man can end up behind bars.

Jim’s passion for music, reggae and poetry, which sees him perform with Colchester punks, Maniac Squat and DJ as Reggie Love, also props-up the spine of the book.

Mick Barry, who is the Mayor of Brightlingsea, has praised the novel, calling it a “captivating tale of self-discovery” which is “well-written and very readable.”

Jim’s first publication has also received high praise from Duncan Campbell, best-selling author of Underworld.

He added: “A fascinating tale that captures a particular period quite beautifully. Jim Westover has managed to paint a picture of small town life and love. A terrific read.”

To find out more visit penknifenovel.com.