AFTER 20 years of writing, a Huntingdon man has finally had his first novel published.

Peter Murphy, a Cambridge graduate and crown court judge, told The Hunts Post it was good to finally see his work in print.

Removal is a political thriller set in the United States. The story was inspired by the impeachment proceedings against President Bill Clinton and centres on an illicit affair between the fictional president Steve Wade and a Lebanese spy.

Mr Murphy, 65, said: "It was really being in the right place at the right time. I have been writing fiction for myself for over 20 years and I have the usual stack of rejection letters. My book has been published actually by chance. I met another author at dinner and we got talking and he said he would be happy to show my book to No Exit Press. Three months went by and they called me and said they liked it. It was literally that simple."

During his legal career, Mr Murphy has written books and articles on law and acted as counsel at a Yugoslavian War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague but he still found time for writing fiction.

He said: "It is a release. It's fun to do something because you want, not because you have to. I find the whole process fun. You have to have the idea of the outline of the story and those come to me from time to time, although a lot of those I say 'No, not really'."

He continued: "Once you have the idea you have to sit down and write it. Sometimes you write and then go back and delete it but ultimately the characters will tell you where the story is going. It can be hard but it's a good feeling. I don't regard it as a job, it's something I do for pleasure."

He described his time at The Hague as "very interesting" and added: "It was very different from mainstream law.

"I can't say that anything I have done has been planned, I just decide to do things that seem interesting at the time. I have been very fortunate in the contacts that I have made."

Mr Murphy hopes to do a book signing when the paperback is released later in the year. In the meantime, the book is available on Amazon for Kindle and will soon be available on KOBO, Waterstones and iTunes.

The novel

Removal is the story of the Senate's impeachment of President Steve Wade, as a result of his affair with murdered Lebanese spy Lucia Benoni. Benoni's handler, Lebanese diplomat Hamid Marfrela, had ties to the Sons of the Land, a vicious white supremacist group. Congress fears that the affair may have compromised national security…

Other authors have received the book enthusiastically.

Novelist Clem Chambers said: "A brilliant thriller by a striking new talent. Murphy cracks open the US Constitution like a walnut."

Novelist, playwright and TV and film script writer, David Ambrose, said: "Removal is a compelling story of power and intrigue at the highest levels. A political thriller that knows its way around the corridors of power and exposes the secrets behind the headlines, it is as convincing as it is frightening. An unputdownable read."