John was born in Essex but moved to Liverpool. He was educated by Jesuits but managed to survive.
In the 70s and 80s John played guitar and sang in a number of pop bands in Liverpool before training to be a pharmacist. He worked in the community for a number of years before deciding to specialise in psychiatry. During his more than 25 years working in mental health he won a national award for innovative work and published numerous research papers and articles about the treatment of severe mental illness. He’s a fanatical Reds fan and follows his team across Europe.
His first novel, THE DEATHS HEAD CHESS CLUB was published by Atlantic Books in 2015 and in the following year won the Waverton Good Read Award, the only literary prize voted for by the public. It was translated into 6 languages and published in North America by Farrar, Strauss and Giroux. “A nonlinear masterpiece,” according to the New York Journal of Books.