CRIME writer Ian Rankin has added his voice to the growing clamour over the state of pothole-scarred roads across the Highlands.
The bestselling author, who has a home in Cromarty, took to twitter to post a wry message this week.
"Took a break from the new book and drove a circuit of the Black Isle," he told his followers.
"Great fun, despite potholes you could hide a body in. Hmm..."
Best known for his Detective Inspector Rebus novels, his comment comes amid revelations by Highland Council officials that the number of potholes is increasing because staff needed to repair them are too busy gritting roads.
The best they can do at the moment is a temporary fix as the local authority also conceded that more regular maintenance should have been carried out in previous years.
Black Isle councillor Gordon Adam said: "Ian Rankin is a writer of fiction.
"Exaggeration is part of his trade, but I do empathise with his sentiments."
Cllr Adam said although potholes were a constant cause of concern, the nature of this winter’s weather had caused particular difficulties.
He maintained the issue was that more cash was required to repair the region’s roads and there was a special case for additional Scottish Government funding to be given to the Highlands, bearing in mind the vast area it covers.
"The roads department is under enormous financial pressure," he said.
"They are doing what they can but it isn’t as much as anyone would like and that is the real problem. I’m afraid it is going to be an ongoing problem.
"There is not a lack a will on our part, there is a lack of funding."