Maxime Chattam was born in 1976 in Val-d Oise. At the age of 23 he enrolled himself onto a criminology course. His first thriller, The Fifth Reign , appeared under his Maxime Williams pseudonym. It received the Fantasy Novel award at the Gérardmer literary festival. He followed it up with a successful trilogy ( The Soul of Evil , Evil and In Darkness ) and the three-part Truth Cycle novel.