Sarah Rayne began writing in her teens, and after a Convent education, which included writing plays for the Lower Third to perform, embarked on a variety of jobs.
Her first novel was published in 1982, and since then she has written more than 20 books, including eight psychological thrillers, which have met with considerable acclaim, including the nomination to the long-list for the prestigious Theakston’s Crime Novel of the Year 2005 for Tower of Silence, (originally published in 2003).
In 2011, she embarked on a series of books with a ghost-theme, featuring the antique dealer, Nell West, and the Oxford don, Michael Flint, who first make their appearance in Property of a Lady.
As well as being published in America and Australia, Sarah’s books have been translated into German, Dutch, Russian, and Turkish.
Short stories to date are The Unknown Crime, published as part of the CWA’s Anthology, Guilty Consciences, and The Masquerade. Both stories were selected for the Mammoth Book of Best British Mysteries of their year.
The daughter of an Irish comedy actor, Sarah Rayne was for many years active in amateur theatre, and lists among her hobbies, theatre, history, music, and old houses. Much of her inspiration comes from the histories and atmospheres of old buildings, a fact that is strongly apparent in many of her settings – Mortmain House in A Dark Dividing, Twygrist Mill in Spider Light, and the Tarleton Theatre in Ghost Song.
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Sarah Rayne giving a talk, ‘From Destop to Bookshop’ to a readers’ group at Waterstone’s in Stafford.
Author photo by Tony Duggan
What the critics have said about
Sarah Rayne's work:
'It was hard choosing just one of Rayne's supernatural thrillers – they are all superb…'
Woman & Home
‘Totally hypnotic… Grabs you from the start and builds to a gripping end…’
‘Equal parts Daphne du Maurier, Josephine Tey and Ruth Rendell… Rayne possesses superb story-telling skills…’
US Mystery Guild
‘A smashing writer who really knows how to weave a tale…’
‘…By far the best book I have read this year... Sarah Rayne always has me on the edge of my seat…’
Western Daily Press
‘The author’s polished prose is a delight… Her ability to evoke an eerie atmosphere is impressive…
Reviewing the Evidence
'A positive feast of fast-moving action with unpredictable twists… An intelligent, gripping and enjoyable read…'
Mid Sussex Times
‘Rayne writes with impressive authority, moving seamlessly through multiple perspectives, her expertly balanced prose creating sustained suspense…’