Sarah Gainham was born in London in 1915. She moved to Germany in her early thirties, shortly after the Second World War, and then to Austria, where she remained for over fifty years, working as a novelist and journalist. It is in central Europe that Gainham's early thrillers such as Cold Dark Night, The Stone Roses and Silent Hostage are played out. In 1967 she published Night Falls on the City, her masterpiece novel set in wartime Vienna; it received international acclaim and spent several weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. A Place in the Country and Private Worlds are her sequels to Night Falls on the City. Gainham died in Austria in 1999.