Although born in London, Twining spent most of his childhood in France after his family moved to Paris when he was four. On his return to the UK when aged eleven, he went to Merchant Taylors' School, eventually winning a place to Christ Church, Oxford where he read French Literature and Linguistics and graduated with a First Class degree in 1995.
Twining's early career was spent in the business world. His first job was in the Corporate Finance Department of SBC Warburg (now known as UBS), where he worked mainly on hostile bids and defences and leveraged buyouts.
Then in 1999 he set up an e-procurement business (GroupTrade) with a friend. The business was eventually sold to another entrepreneur in August 2002. Twining and his co-founder were both named as one of the eight "Best of Young British" entrepreneurs in The New Statesman.
All four books feature art thief Tom Kirk and are set in the art world and underworld. In each case, Twining builds a modern day thriller involving art theft around a series of historical events and/or artifacts.