Michael Ridpath was born in Devon in 1961, but grew up in Yorkshire. He was educated at boarding school in Somerset and at Merton College, Oxford, where he read Modern History. After university he worked in the City as a bond trader. In his spare time, he wrote a novel, a financial thriller called Free to Trade, which was published in 1995, eventually being translated into 37 languages. Seven more financial thrillers followed, and then the Fire and Ice series of crime novels, featuring the Icelandic detective Magnus Jonson. Traitor’s Gate, set in Berlin in 1938, is his first historical novel. The sequel, Shadows of War, is set in the phoney war in France and Holland in 1939-1940. He lives in North London.