James Owen was born in London in 1969. He studied Modern History at Oxford University. His previous books are A Serpent in Eden (Little, Brown, 2005) - shortlisted for the 2005 CWA Golden Dagger (non-fiction), and The Voice of War: The Second World War Told By Those Who Fought It, with Guy Walters (Viking, 2004). He writes regularly for The Times, the Telegraph and the Financial Times. He lives in Rome with his sculptor wife.