“Over the last ten years I have posted approximately 12 reviews of my own books, and I also criticised a book written by Stuart MacBride, and another by Mark Billingham, both of whom had done nothing to warrant such criticism,” Ellory wrote on Facebook.

“This I regret deeply, but time cannot be turned back. I have apologised for what I have done, and I hope in time that we can move beyond this.”

Ellory was busted fellow writer Jeremy Duns who tweeted his evidence worldwide last week.

“Ellory writes 5-star reviews of his own work on Amazon. Long, purple tributes to his own magnificent genius,” Duns tweeted. “RJ Ellory also writes shoddy, sh***y sniping reviews of others authors’ work on Amazon, under an assumed identity.”

Ellory yesterday took to social media himself, to apologise and vow he would not “avoid responsibility”.

A group of 49 of Britain’s leading authors, including bestselling writers Ian Rankin, Lee Child, Susan Hill, Val McDermid and Helen FitzGerald,  condemned the “abuse” in a letter to the Daily Telegraph.

A number of best-selling American writers publicly supported the letter including Anne Rice, the author of gothic fiction and erotica, Karin Slaughter and Michael Connelly, both crime authors.