Patrick Alexander (1926-1997) worked as a reporter and television writer. He travelled widely in Russia and Western Europe, and wrote several successful espionage thrillers. His first novel, Death of a Thin-Skinned Animal (1976), was published to critical acclaim and translated into ten languages, receiving the John Creasy Award (now known as the CWA New Blood Dagger). It was later made into the film The Professional, starring Jean-Paul Belmondo. His further novels include Show Me A Hero (1979), Soldier On The Other Side (1983) and Ryfka (1988).