As life imitates art, an author is hoping the forthcoming referendum on Scottish independence could promote interest in his debut novel.

Sutton writer Rob Murphy's political thriller Kingdom Come is set in the near future and chronicles the UK's descent into civil war after vast oil deposits are discovered off Scotland and Wales.

In the tale, nationalists in both countries try to become independent so they can keep their new-found wealth away from the hands of Prime Minister Robert Delgado who sees the discovery as an opportunity to make the UK into an enterprise economy.

The situation leads to bitter conflict.

Murphy, who went to Wallington County Grammar School, says the present situation in the UK, with growing calls for Scottish independence, is mirrored in the book although he acknowledges the situation isn't likely to go in the same dramatic direction.

He said: ""The issue of Scottish independence has, to-date, been conducted in a peaceful and rational matter, irrespective of rhetoric from politicians on both sides of the border.

"The UK Government has been prepared to allow the referendum to take place and for 16-year-olds to have a vote, something which is not otherwise allowed.

But imagine if a less benevolent government was in power in Westminster - would they be prepared to allow the country to split apart and weaken its international standing economically and politically?

"History has shown that single incidents have been the catalyst for major conflagrations.

"The assassination of an Austrian archduke 100 years ago sparked what was then the greatest military conflict in history.

The seizure of Dublin’s General Post Office by Irish rebels led eventually to the first fracture in the United Kingdom.

"If the UK Government was to respond with all guns blazing to deal with the threat of Scotland and Wales breaking away, Kingdom Come could change from fiction to reality."

Kingdom Come; available from Waterstones, Amazon or