A RETIRED Powys doctor who picked up a pen after putting down his stethoscope is celebrating the release of his third crime thriller.

‘Double Vision’ is written by Dr John Buchan – a former Rhayader GP and doctor at Llandrindod Wells War Memorial Hospital. It is also the third book in the John Steadman blind detective crime series, following on from ‘Blind Pursuit’ and ‘Second Sight’.

The series follows Detective Inspector Steadman as he looks to find the professional killers hired to murder him and his wife. While his wife is killed he survives and despite being left blind by an assassin’s bullet he still has one of the finest minds on the police force.

Writing under the pen name Jake Buchan, Double Vision finds DI Steadman unravelling a challenging case of murder, drugs, gambling and false identity. When the body of a young man is washed up on the beach in the quiet coastal town of Helmsmouth, Steadman has a brutal murder case to solve.

When another victim is found in the same place, the crime turns into a challenging case of false identity. When a third body is found, locked inside a freezer in an abandoned warehouse, Steadman knows the murders must somehow be connected and possibly to the seedy underworld of organised crime.

The first two books in the series received favourable reviews and Double Vision has already been described as another page-turner. Released in 2014, Blind Pursuit has an average rating of 4.5 stars on Amazon. The hit on DI Steadman and his wife was carried out with ruthless efficiency, except for one detail. The bullet that pierced Steadman’s skull left him blind, but still alive. As he learns to live with the loss of his sight, his pursuit of those responsible continues. But to achieve his ultimate goal – to bring to justice the man who robbed him of his life – he has nothing to go on except a chilling series of nightmares and a voice; a voice he feels sure he has heard somewhere before.

His literary debut was followed by Second Sight in May 2017 – earning five stars on Amazon and centred around a prominent theatre critic found murdered in grotesque fashion. Steadman hardly knows where to start his investigation but then an elderly spinster meets a similarly bizarre fate, and soon a market trader dies in an equally peculiar way.

Born in Aberdeen, Buchan, 67, has lived in Mid Wales for the last 40 years, moving to Powys in 1981. The married father-of-three, who lives in Rhayader with his wife, said: “I have always liked writing.

“When I was 11, I won first prize in the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals essay competition – and I've never really stopped.

“I have always enjoyed writing and vowed when I had more time, I would write a novel. The idea for a blind detective came from my love of dermatology, the most visual of medical specialities, and my interest in how people cope with adversity, particularly loss of sight.

“Could you be a blind dermatologist just from listening and asking questions? Could you be a blind detective?”

The author hopes to have a public launch when Covid-19 restrictions allows but, in the meantime, you can get your hands on a copy at any major bookshop or online – the latest DI Steadman book is even on sale locally at Rhayader post office.