I was born in Devon in 1961, but grew up in Yorkshire. I was educated at Millfield School in Somerset, and Merton College, Oxford, where I read History.
After University, I joined Saudi International Bank, a part-Saudi, part-American owned bank based in London. I started off my career as a credit analyst, but then became a bond trader, managing one of the largest junk bond portfolios in Europe. In 1991 I left bond trading to join Apax Partners, a private equity firm.
My first novel, Free to Trade, was written during evenings and weekends over a four year period. On the basis of "write what you know", it was a novel about a bond trader, written mostly for my own pleasure. Working in the City, I had come across some pretty dodgy characters. It seemed to me there were good guys, there were bad guys, and there were plenty of shades of grey in the middle; the shades of grey interested me. To my great surprise – and delight – the book was accepted for publication with a large advance. It was translated into over 30 languages and reached No 2 in the UK bestseller list. So I gave up working in the City to become a full-time writer.
I went on to write seven more thrillers set in the worlds of business and finance, before turning my hand to something slightly different. The result, Where The Shadows Lie, the first in a series featuring an Icelandic detective named Magnus, was published in 2010. I have written four more novels in the series since then, and a couple of novellas, one of which, The Polar Bear Killing, is available for free.
I have also written a number of stand-alone thrillers: Traitor's Gate and Shadows Of War are spy novels set in pre-war Europe. These were followed by Amnesia, Launch Code and The Diplomat's Wife.
I am married to Barbara, an American, and live in London. We spend as much of the summer as we can at our house in Duxbury, Massachusetts.