Gavin Tudor Lyall ( May 9th, 1932 - January 18th, 2003 ) was born in Birmingham ( West Midlands, England ).
After completing his two years of National Service, 1951 to 1953, as a Pilot Officer in the Royal Air Force flying Gloster Meteors, he went to Pembroke College ( Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England ) graduating in 1956 with honours in English. While at Cambridge, Gavin Lyall wrote regularly for the undergraduate newspaper Varsity and also created a strip cartoon whose hero, " Olly ", reflected student life and became a cult figure. He became Editor of Varsity in 1956.
After graduating he worked briefly as a reporter for the Birmingham Gazette, Picture Post and Sunday Graphic newspapers and then as a film director for the BBC's Tonight programme. From 1959 to 1962, Gavin Lyall was a newspaper reporter and the aviation correspondent for the Sunday Times.
His first novel, The Wrong Side of the Sky, was published in 1961, drawing from his personal experiences in the Libyan Desert and in Greece. He then left journalism in 1963 to become a full - time author. Gavin Lyall's first seven novels in the 1960's and early 1970's were action thrillers with different settings around the world.
Despite the commercial success of his work, he began to feel that he was falling into a predictable pattern, and abandoned both his earlier genres, and the first - person narrative, for his " Harry Maxim " series of espionage thrillers beginning with The Secret Servant published in 1980.
In the 1990's, Gavin Lyall changed literary direction once again, and wrote four semi - historical thrillers about the fledgling British secret service in the years leading up to the First World War. Here are some of his works : Midnight Plus One ( 1965 ), Freedom's Battle : The War in the Air 1939 - 1945 ( 1971 ), Judas Country ( 1975 ), The Crocus List ( 1985 ), Spy's Honour ( 1993 ), Honourable Intentions ( 1999 ).
( source : Wikipedia )