Len Deighton was born in London in 1929. At the age of seventeen he became a photographer attached to the RAF Special Investigations Branch. Following his discharge in 1949 he did a variety of jobs and in 1952 won a scholarship to the Royal College of Art. His writing career began with The Ipcress File which was a spectacular success and was made into a classic film starring Michael Caine.
Since then his work has gone from strength to strength, varying from espionage novels to war, general fiction and non-fiction. The BBC made Bomber into a day-long radio drama in ‘real time’. Deightons history of World War Two, Blood, Tears and Folly, was published to wide acclaim – Jack Higgins called it ‘an absolute landmark’.
As Max Hastings observed, Deighton captured a time and a mood – ‘To those of us who were in our twenties in the 1960s, his books seemed the coolest, funkiest, most sophisticated things we’d ever read’– and his books have now deservedly become classics.