Douglas releases his debut novel

A Whitley Bay man is hoping for success with the publication of his debut novel.

Douglas Matthews has written The Ratking, a tale of superstition, distrust, plague and witchcraft set in 17th century north Northumberland.

The story tells how Sara Goodwin arrives as a stranger in a border village and unearths a ‘Ratking’ believed by all to be a portent of evil.

As a result, her life is plunged into a turmoil she could never have imagined.

Douglas, 75, based the novel around Etal, the village where his mother was born and where he spent his early childhood.

Douglas, originally from Berwick, spent 18 years teaching music at Preston High School, now John Spence High School, in North Shields.

The Ratking is £9.99 and is available at or from any good bookshop.