C. J. Cooper grew up in a small village in south Wales before moving to London as a student. She graduated with a degree in Ancient History and Egyptology and spent seven months as a development worker in Nepal. On her return to Britain she joined the civil service, where she worked for 17 years on topics ranging from housing support to flooding. She hung up her bowler hat when she discovered that she much preferred writing about psychotic killers to ministerial speeches. She lives in London with her husband and two cats.