Neil was born in Bristol in 1969. He lived in Edinburgh, Brighton, Leeds and London before settling down. He is the author of several novels including Always the Sun, Burial and Captured as well as the bestselling memoir Heartland. He was lead scriptwriter for the acclaimed series 6 and series 7 of the BBC spy drama series Spooks and is the creator of the forthcoming BBC crime thriller Luther, which is scheduled to appear on BBC1 in 2010, starring Idris Elba. Following the British publication of Captured in January 2010, he is working on his next novel and continues to write for the screen. He lives in New Zealand with his wife and two sons.