THE Isle of Wight is the setting for Harbinger, the latest instalment in Robin Crumby’s dystopian, near-future book series The Hurst Chronicles.

Featuring locations throughout the New Forest and Solent, the story follows the trials and tribulations of a group of survivors who have made Hurst Castle their home two years after devastating flu pandemic that’s infected billions.

If that sounds scarily familiar, nobody was more surprised than the author who started writing the series in 2015, trying to imagine what life would be like in the aftermath of an unstoppable virus.

In The Hurst Chronicles a military-led relief operation has created a safe zone, free of the virus, on the Isle of Wight, but not everyone shares the military’s aspirations for reconstruction.

Isle of Wight County Press: Author Robin CrumbyAuthor Robin Crumby

Dark forces seek to prolong the lawlessness, pursuing their own ambitions. There’s a war coming that threatens to return the whole Solent region to chaos.

Robin said: “Finishing book four in the middle of a real-life pandemic was difficult. Life was proving stranger than fiction, playing out in real time.

"The search for a vaccine, the test and trace pilot on the Island and rolling lockdowns had become familiar concepts that needed to be taken into account.

"Plus not being able to visit locations meant lots of desk-based research instead.”

The story will appeal to those who enjoy fast-paced post-apocalyptic thrillers like The Day of the Triffids or Survivors.

Harbinger is available from Amazon, published in both paperback and on Kindle.