I have always had an interest in science and in 1963 went to King’s College London to do a degree in physics. I graduated in 1966 and went on to do a PhD in nuclear physics. I then became employed as a research associate in physics and worked in the nuclear physics group in the famous Wheatstone Laboratory at King’s. Our group published a number of important papers on nuclear scattering.
After three years at King’s, I decided that I needed a change, so in 1972 I became a research scientist in the Police Scientific Development Branch of the Home Office, where my little team and I conducted some of the early work on the physical properties of human fingerprints, and on new methods for their detection. I then headed a team working on the automatic identification of fingerprints using computers.
I spent twelve years in the middle of my career in a number of different administrative posts. These ranged from work on nationality legislation, through race relations and mentally disordered offending to central management systems and Sunday trading law.
In my latter years at the Home Office, I was responsible for a group of scientists and engineers working on physical security. That group was based near Horsham, Sussex. During that time, I was seconded to an HQ post where I was responsible for policy on police science in England and Wales. This covered the Forensic Science Service, The Police National Computer, police radio communications and for forensic pathology. In this post I reported direct to Home Office ministers.
While working on physical security, I became a member of the Executive Committee of the International Carnahan Conference on Security Technology. This conference has been meeting annually for 45 years and is the oldest in its field in the world. I soon became secretary to the committee and am now its chairman.
While working at the Home Office, I discovered my passion for writing and vowed that I would write novels when stopped working. I retired in 2003 and soon started my research for The Harpist of Madrid, my debut novel.
I live with my lovely wife, Janet, in the leafy suburb of Worcester Park in the London Borough of Sutton. We have two grown up children: Gregory, a computer scientist and engineer and Melanie, an Assistant Head Teacher at a school in Croydon. We are immensely proud of both of them. We are looking forward to next September when Greg and his fiancee, Susie, will be getting married!