Simon Beckett followed an MA in English with a few years doing property repairs before a stint teaching English in Spain. Back in the UK, he played percussion in several bands. He has worked as a freelance journalist, writing for national newspapers and colour supplements. Some of his more memorable assignments have included going on police drugs raids, touring brothels with the Met's Vice Unit, spending time at the Body Farm in Tennesse, and learning how to win a gun fight in Nevada. He is married and lives in Sheffield.