Clare Mackintosh read French at Royal Holloway University, spending a year working in Paris. She joined the police force on a graduate training programme and spent twelve years working in Thames Valley Police, including time on CID, in Custody and as a Public Order Commander. She left the police in 2011 to work as a freelance journalist, writing for parenting magazines and the national press. She is a columnist for Cotswold Life magazine. Clare lives in Chipping Norton with her husband, a police officer, and their three children.