FOR some the primary objective is to stop a conflict, for others the primary objective is to exercise power, but for most the primary objective is to make money.

These themes are interwoven in a topical geo-political debut thriller by West Yorkshire author Martin Venning that will keep its readers on the edge of their seats.

The Primary Objective is already receiving critical acclaim, with one reviewer describing it as a “lush and satisfying read”.

Martin said: “The inspiration behind the book was a personal interest in the culture, nature and history of Iran which does not often feature in the media and lends itself to intrigue and mystery.

" I hope readers get wrapped up in the customs as much as the danger and a perfect entertainment for winter nights during lockdown .”

The story starts with Peace International, a New York based global reconciliation and mediation charity that seeks to prevent wars, regional disputes and rebuild civil societies.

When a tip comes in that Iran is building a chemical and biological weapons research and production centre, it soon becomes clear that where they’re considering building - close to the border with Azerbaijan - could destabilise the Gulf region and beyond.

Selecting a small team of volunteers, they form a task force to collect evidence, entering through a dangerous semi-lawless area in southern Azerbaijan. What they discover is a far more complicated web of challenges than a weapons facility.

For PI Operations Director, Edwin Wilson, the mission is his most perilous yet, threatening the lives of his team and the international reputation of his organisation. But for two Iranian men, Fawaz and Jamshid, the stakes are even higher.

Driven by contrasting personal circumstances and life chances, they face difficult choices as they seek different paths to prosperity in a controlling, repressive society that takes no prisoners - alive.

The Ilkley-born and Teesside educated writer was finally motivated to write the book when bedridden in hospital following an accident.

He spent much of his time there with other patients that had no prospect of recovery but who seemed naturally to find chinks of light in their personal darkness.

Although temporarily immobile, he channelled his energy into writing a novel based on adventure and escapism, often imagining what it must be like to become institutionalised - to live your life within boundaries which, can seem to dictate every aspect of daily life and behaviour.

Martin said: “It was amazing how this regime challenged the ability to think rationally and independently. Whether you’re in hospital, prison or working in a corporate environment the pressure to conform is universal.

"My experience of this was to try to imagine and describe the experience of prisoners of conscience and to marvel at their survival against seemingly impossible odds.”

The Primary Objective is released on January 28. ISBN: 9781800461109. The book costs £8.99 and is available online at all good bookstores.

Martin Venning is a project communications and strategic investment adviser working in the property and construction sector with 20 years' experience engaging with businesses in the UK, continental Europe and Asia.

He trained as a journalist as part of his undergraduate studies and writes for pleasure.