She spent her childhood near Ponteland, Northumberland, attending Central Newcastle High school before moving to London where she studied law at King’s College. She spent most of her twenties in the city as a lawyer.
It was on a journey to Edinburgh that the germ of an idea to set a novel on Holy Island was planted. Inspired by the dramatic beauty of Lindisfarne, Louise wrote Holy Island, introducing DCI Ryan.
Holy Island shot to the top of the Amazon UK Kindle charts, knocking Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train off the number one spot in May 2015. The sequel, Sycamore Gap launched in paperback last November.
Louise now writes full-time from her home in Bath, where she lives with her husband James, a barrister, and her son, visiting her parents and her beloved Northumberland whenever she gets the chance.
LUXE PEOPLE >>
Aside from family and friends, I love anyone who can make me laugh. Michael McIntyre, Russell Howard, Billy Connolly to name a few!
LUXE PLACES >>
For a weekend > A weekend in the Lake District is a perfect escape for a couple of days. The setting is idyllic and there’s nothing better than taking a walk over the hills then hunkering down with a good book and a glass of something fruity in a cosy pub afterwards.
A long holiday > My perfect long holiday would be somewhere with a balance of relaxation and sightseeing. I also like to try and visit new places when I can, so for me the ideal long holiday would be somewhere in South America because that’s a continent I haven’t visited. I’d like to see the Mayan ruins and hike the Inca Trail one day.
A treat > Florence is always a treat! For me, it has the perfect combination of old-world charm and good, calorific food! The people are friendly and the coffee is amazing, as is the pasta. You can take a trip into the surrounding Tuscan hills and visit the villa where Michelangelo is reputed to have stayed, stop for lunch in the beautiful village of Fiesole and be back in Florence in time for live music and a moonlight walk along the river.
Luxe relax >>
Best food > I have a terrible sweet tooth, so the best food for me is always cake! Coffee cake, chocolate cake, carrot cake… any kind of cake! I also enjoy spicy foods, so any Chinese, Indian or Indonesian cuisine will always be a winner.
Best wine > Argentinian malbec is my go-to red wine of choice, and for white I prefer a sancerre – if you’re buying!
Favourite restaurant > My favourite restaurant is all the way over in Shanghai! On a visit to China a few years ago, we strolled through the old French Quarter and stumbled across an amazing restaurant called ‘Lost Heaven’. I loved every mouthful and would even consider travelling back there, if only so that I could eat in that restaurant again.
Perfect weekend > The perfect weekend starts with a Friday night date with my husband. On Saturday, I’d take my two-year-old son out to the park, to the beach, or for a day trip somewhere fun. In the evening, we might have friends visit us for dinner and then on Sunday we all recover in our pyjamas.
Downtime means > Reading a good book, with access to chocolate and caffeine nearby, or a walk in the country while the laptop is turned off.
Best telly > I’m not a huge fan of reality TV, but I do like some of the recent series which have been released such as Breaking Bad, Orange is the New Black and Narcos. Obviously, I can’t get enough old-fashioned mystery dramas like Poirot and Miss Marple, either.
Best book > The Far Pavillions, by M.M. Kaye. I’ve read a lot of books over the years and there are many old and modern classics I have admired – Dumas, Du Maurier and Conan Doyle, for example. But, I will never forget the impact Kaye had on me when I first read this book as an early teen, then again as an adult. It is a sweeping, epic adventure romance set in India at the end of the Raj and Kaye’s ability to describe the landscape is outstanding.
Best sounds > I can’t get enough cheesy eighties power ballads! I also enjoy an eclectic mix of smooth sounds like Nina Simone, or Ella Fitzgerald, tempered by something a bit more lively like David Guetta or Avicii.
Luxe shop >>
Best shopping city > The best shopping city has to be New York, where there is a shop catering for every whim and whimsy.
Favourite shop > My favourite shop has to be Fenwick in Newcastle. It makes me feel very nostalgic when I remember going along to see their spectacular Christmas window displays as a child, which seemed so magical. They’ve also got a great chocolate counter and I like truffles.
Luxe retail treat > Recently, I treated myself to a lovely leather laptop case from Aspinal of London, which I use every day. It winked at me from the shop window at St Pancras station.
Best buy > My Kindle e-reader has been my best buy in the last few years. It means that I can read on the go and store hundreds of books in one place, without having to build new shelves! I do enjoy having real books too, but the advent of Kindle has not only provided access to more books than were held in the great library of Alexandria, but it has inspired a new career in writing for me and has made my work available to an international audience.
Luxe party >>
A memorable night out > A few years ago, I flew with a group of other ladies to Las Vegas to celebrate a friend’s hen party there. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy the city, it seemed too gaudy and too tacky, but I have to admit…it was brilliant!
Perfect party > The perfect party has to involve good food, cocktails and music from the eighties and nineties! For me, it’s an opportunity to catch up with friends.
Best dress > My wedding dress! It is a classic silk tulle creation which was handmade by a lady called Jacqueline Byrne.
Dinner date > Depending on whether I’m in a fancy mood, it’s nice to try out a new restaurant followed by a drink or two with my other half, but I’d be equally happy with a posh burger followed by a trip to see the latest Bond movie!
Your Luxe thingS in life >>
My mother is a very elegant woman and I remember that she always had a bottle of La Perla or Chanel to hand when I was growing up. I have carried on the tradition and always like to have a bottle of Coco Mademoiselle on my dressing table, as it’s my favourite scent.