Crime writer, criminologist, criminal lawyer (ret’d), cat lover, conspicuous consumer of coffee, cake and white wine.


Crime writer, criminologist and former criminal barrister.


Diana Bretherick was born in Kenilworth, Warwickshire where she spent her formative years reading her mother’s true crime books. Having decided against serial killing as a career choice, she practised as a criminal barrister in London for some years before becoming an academic criminologist at the Institute of Criminal Justice Studies at the University of Portsmouth. She has also worked as a counsellor at HMP Brixton specialising in sex offenders.

In 2012 she won the Good Housekeeping Magazine Novel Competition with her first book ‘City of Devils’ featuring Cesare Lombroso, the world’s first criminologist. The novel was published in 2013 by Orion Books and was a selected book for the 2013 Specsavers Crime Thriller Book Club. It was published in the USA in 2014 and in Italy in 2015. The sequel, The Devils Daughters is out later this year.

Diana lives in Portsmouth with her husband and is currently working on her next novel.


This is a historical crime novel with real originality and narrative energy.

BBC History August 2013 – Nick Rennison

This book hits the ground running. Within the first few pages you are utterly gripped.

ITV 3 Crime Thriller Book Club - Barry Forshaw

City of Devils is an absolutely intriguing serial-killer mystery. Diana Bretherick writes amazingly vividly. I was totally captivated, from the first sentence.

Peter James

It's so good, it's hard to believe it's a debut novel.

Mark Billingham

‘The brightest mind meets the darkest killer.’
‘From time to time there have been criminals who are true geniuses – creators of new forms of crime, inventors of evil.’