A DARK secret is at the heart of a former Knox Academy pupil’s second novel, set in a fictional version of Haddington.

Susi Holliday, who grew up on Haddington’s West Road and Somnerfield Crescent, released Willow Walk on Friday.

The story, which is the second book in the Banktoun Trilogy, follows on the heels from Black Wood, which was released last year.

Ms Holliday, who has released the book as SJI (Susan Jennifer Inglis) Holliday, told the Courier: “It is about a girl who is now in her late 30s who grew up in Banktoun but is not from there originally.

“She is involved with the local policeman, who was in Black Wood as well.

“It’s basically about her back story and the fact she has got a huge secret and why she moved to the town.”

The story, which is already out as an e-book, is set in a fictionalised version of Ms Holliday’s hometown.

Ms Holliday, whose mum and dad, Allan and Alison, ran Inglis Newsagent and the Plough Tavern before moving to Longniddry, left the county in 1999.

The 41-year-old explained that Banktoun was similar to Haddington but that her fictional town stops at the Nungate Bridge.

She added: “I started writing Willow Walk in February last year and finished it in the summer.

“I used a slightly different method compared to when I was writing Black Wood.

“You learn from writing the first book.

“The second book, I did a lot more pre-planning and a few days outlining it so I knew what I was writing about and it did come out quicker.”

Ms Holliday, who works as a statistician with a pharmaceutical company in London, having left the county in 1999, is already working on the final story on the trilogy and hopes to have it complete within the next six weeks.

She stressed that work was often busy, which meant she struggled to find time to write as much of the books as she would like.

However, when it was quieter it gave her more of a chance to put pen to paper and work on the story.

Already, reviews of the new book have been positive, with Ms Holliday adding: “It’s been great. I’ve had some really great reviews from authors and bloggers.”

Ms Holliday will be returning to Haddington later this month when she does a book signing at Kesley’s, on Market Street, at 10.30am on Saturday, June 25.