Gillian Slovo has lived in England since 1964, working as a writer, journalist and film producer. Her first novel, Morbid Symptoms (1984), began a crime fiction series featuring female detective Kate Baeier. Other fictions in the series include Death by Analysis (1986), Death Comes Staccato (1987), Catnap (1994) and Close Call (1995). Her other novels include Ties of Blood (1989), The Betrayal (1991) and Red Dust (2000), a courtroom drama set in contemporary South Africa, which explores the effects of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Every Secret Thing: My Family, My Country (1997) is a moving account of her childhood in South Africa and her relationship with her parents, both heavily involved in the anti-apartheid movement. Ice Road (2004), set in Leningrad in 1933, explores an Arctic winter in Stalin’s Russia; family ties, love and loyalty are all tested to the limits, uncovering the dark effects of Soviet communism on the human spirit. It was shortlisted for the 2004 Orange Prize for Fiction.Gillian Slovo lives in London. Her most recent novel is Black Orchids (2008), about a Sinhalese family who move to England in the 1950s.