Tony Strong was born in Uganda in 1962 and was educated at Winchester
College and St Peter's, Oxford, where he gained a First in English
Literature. He abandoned a doctorate to go and work as a copywriter
in an advertising agency. Over the next fifteen years he wrote many
well-known commercials for clients as diverse as Guinness, Sainsbury's,
The Samaritans, Walkers and Tetra Pak. He has also written headlines
for The Economist's award-winning poster campaign.
In 1997 his first thriller, The Poison Tree, was published by Doubleday.
This was followed by The Death Pit (1999), The Decoy (2001) and
Tell Me Lies (2003).
He currently divides his time between London and Oxfordshire, writing
novels and screenplays.
"Thrillers don't have to be dumbed down: they can be thought-provoking
as well as page-turning. For me, the most important aspect of any
story is the idea, the concept – making sure it's intriguing
enough to sustain a reader's interest. In The Poison Tree, an academic
who studies old-fashioned detective stories is suddenly caught up
in the hunt for a very modern sex killer. In The Death Pit, an episode
from Scotland's witch-burning past is mirrored by killings taking
place in the present. In The Decoy, an actress has to pretend to
fall in love with a suspected murderer. And in Tell Me Lies there's
a simple ethical dilemma: should you lie in court to help the police
convict a man you are convinced is guilty? I don't stick to one
setting or character, because what interests me are the twists and
turns that come out of these very different scenarios. Some people
call them 'psychological thrillers', which is a catch-all term for
stories that don't fit into any of the established crime genres.
For me they're simply stories about ordinary people placed in extraordinary
situations." - Tony Strong interviewed by Denise Mina at Dead
on Deansgate 2001.