A YOUNG author from Dinas Powys has launched his first book – a historical murder-mystery tale, set in the village.

Sam Hurcom launched his first novel A Shadow on the Lens on Thursday, September 26.

The novel, published by Orion, is a tale set in 1904 Dinas Powys, following forensic investigator Thomas Bexley, and has been described as both a supernatural thriller and gothic fiction.

It has been highlighted by The Times in their top releases for new crime and fiction for the month and earned praise from The Guardian.

Mr Hurcom went to great lengths to research life at the turn of the century, and readers from Dinas Powys may recognise road names, public houses, woodlands, and halls described in the story.

The evening was held at the newly relaunched and volunteer-run Dinas Powys Library and Activity Centre.

Lara Cowpe, a volunteer from the library, introduced and thanked Mr Hurcom at the end of the evening.

She said: “I have certainly learnt a lot about the history of Dinas Powys.

“I thought it was lovely to see the pictures of Dinas Powys as it was in the early 1900s.

“I am quite visual so I will really enjoy reading the book and being able to imagine more accurately what the village and surrounding areas looked like.

“We are really lucky to have Sam here, a local author, inspired by Dinas Powys, setting his book in our village and then choosing to launch the book here at the library.

“Congratulations Sam and thank you to Griffin Books and everyone for coming along to support Sam and the local library.”

Mr Hurcom gave a talk about the process of writing the book and then a question and answer session from the audience.

Griffin Books from Penarth were also present to sell copies of the book, which the author signed.

Further copies of the book are available from Griffin Books, with more available online in ebook, paperback and hard copy.

The follow-up to the novel has already been written and is set to be published next year.