A WOKING author has released his sixth book, The Story of Virna Babineaux.

Mal Foster’s debut novel, The Asylum Soul, won many admirers after its publication in 2015 – and his writing continues to attract praise. 

His latest outing explores fresh subject matter and introduces a new protagonist. Daniel Blue, a hapless local news reporter.

Blue is drawn into the story of Virna Babineaux, a once-famous glamour model turned prostitute found stabbed to death in a London brothel. Several years later, the corpse remains unclaimed until it is inexplicably discovered missing by mortuary staff.

Strange goings-on at the victim’s former luxury home in Surrey arouse the interest of local police, but the case is dropped before the initial investigation is completed. 

Investigating officer DI Sue Grendel is furious as she believes she was close to solving the mystery. Against her better judgement, she tips off her former lover, the wayward Blue, urging him to bag a good story.

“I’m always looking to experiment with my writing and explore alternative subject matter,” Mal said. “My protagonists, who are usually quite vulnerable types, are always very important to me, and when I start a new novel, I enjoy getting into character with each of them. 

“I have used Blue to address my own inner inhibitions and some of life’s what-might-have-beens.”

The Story of Virna Babineaux is published by PublishNation at £8.99 paperback, e-book £2.99. It is available from Amazon and bookshops.