AN AUTHOR has landed a three-book publishing deal on the strength of her dark psychological thriller about mysterious disappearances at an exclusive diet clinic.

The Clinic is Sally-Anne Martyn’s debut novel, inspired by the time she worked as care worker in a former Victorian asylum.

Sally-Anne, who lives in Lower Whitley, writes female-led thrillers, inspired by the strong working-class women she grew up with.

Her imagination tends towards the darker side of things - as a child she loved Hammer House and Tales of the Unexpected.

Northwich Guardian: The Clinic (Joffe Books)The Clinic (Joffe Books) (Image: Joffe Books)

The 49-year-old writer explained how she made the imaginative connection between the asylum where she had worked and a luxurious yet sinister diet clinic.

She said: “I like everything I write to have a foot in reality, regardless of what it’s about.

“The idea for The Clinic come from a time when, in the 1990s, I worked in one of the last Victorian asylums in the country.

“They were awful places where people were hidden away for all sorts of reasons – learning difficulties, Down Syndrome, women who had children out of wedlock – just anything that they didn’t understand.

“They were places for getting people out of sight, and out of mind, for good.”

It is this last though that Sally-Anne takes up and weaves it into the fictional world of The Clinic. 

Editorial Director at Joffe Books, Emma Grundy Haigh, said: "I am thrilled to be working with Sally-Anne on her fantastic psychological thrillers.

“I was just immediately captured by Sally-Anne's brilliant sense of place, spine-tingling atmosphere, and excellent characterization.

“I've just started working on her next book, which already promises to outpace the first.

Sally-Ann has a three-book deal with Joffe Books, and she is currently working on her second novel, which is about modern-day witchcraft.

Her debut novel, The Clinic, will be published on Thursday, October 27, by Joffe Books in paperback and digital.

Sally-Anne grew up in Hathersage in the Peak District, but now lives in Lower Whitley with her husband and son, three dogs and five pet pigs.