A TOP prosecution solicitor is publishing a crime novel featuring abduction, murder and intrigue, inspired by his work in the courtrooms of East Lancashire.

Neil White, 43, a Crown Prosecution Service solicitor based in Blackburn, has now finished Lost Souls, the follow-up to his successful first work Fallen Idols, which was published last July.

The book follows the continuing story of detective constable Laura McGanity, and her reporter boyfriend Jack Garrett, who have relocated to the North from London.

The plot is filled with abduction, murder, and mysterious events which begin to put their lives in danger. It is set in the fictional mill town of Blackley, which Neil has admitted is based on Blackburn.

Neil's first book, Fallen Idols, was snapped up by publishers Avon, part of HarperCollins, and was so successful it even won him a nomination for the Books to Talk About Award at the World Book Day Awards. It has so far sold more than 40,000 copies.

He has been named as one of the country's crime writing "rising stars" by his publishers.

Neil said he gains inspiration from the figures he sees in his everyday job.

The promotional material for the book says: "A woman is found butchered on a Lancashire housing estate her tongue and eyes brutally gouged out. Ritual murder or crime of passion?"

He said: "My first novel was loosely based in Great Harwood and Lost Souls is Blackburn. But the characters are not based on anyone in particular. I don't think it would be fair to do that, especially because I am still working as a lawyer.

"Having said that I use the experiences of my job to inform my writing and I take little bits of what I see in court to form my characters."

Neil grew up on a council estate in West Yorkshire and dropped out of school with one O Level before spending seven years living in bedsits and on benefits.

He became desperate to escape his sturggling existance and returned to education in his 20s.

He took a law degree at Lancashire Polytechnic and qualifies as a solicitor when he was 30 before discovering his love of writing.

He said the follow up to Lost Souls, his third novel, is almost finished and is set around Pendle Hill.

The married father-of-three said that for the time being he is happy to juggle his day job at the Crown Prosecution Service and his writing along with his family life at home in Preston.

He attempts to write 1,000 words every night in addition to his case work and family commitments.

But he added: "In the future if it came to the crunch I would choose my writing."

Lost Souls, published by Avon, will be released on May 26 and costs £6.99.