Michael Robotham

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Michael Robotham
Michael Robotham in 2014 at Mosman Library Service
Michael Robotham in 2014 at Mosman Library Service
Born (1960-11-09) 9 November 1960 (age 60)
Casino, New South Wales, Australia
Notable worksLife or Death
Notable awardsThe CWA Gold Dagger, 2015, 2020
Years active1975–

Michael Robotham (born 9 November 1960) is an Australian, internationally published, crime fiction writer. His eldest daughter is the ARIA and APRA Award winning songwriter, producer and musician Alex Hope.


Michael Robotham was born in Casino, New South Wales, and went to school in Gundagai and Coffs Harbour. In February 1979 he began a journalism cadetship on the Sydney afternoon newspaper The Sun and later worked for The Sydney Morning Herald as a court reporter and police roundsman.

In 1986, he went to London, where he worked as a reporter and sub-editor for various UK national newspapers before becoming a staff feature writer on The Mail on Sunday in 1989. As a feature writer, Michael was among the first people to view the letters and diaries of Tsar Nicholas II and his wife Empress Alexandra, unearthed in the Moscow State Archives in 1991. He also gained access to Stalin's Hitler files, which had been missing for nearly fifty years until a cleaner stumbled upon a cardboard box that had been misplaced and misfiled. The archives also revealed secrets about Rasputin and the nuclear accident at Chernobyl.

Robotham rose to become deputy features editor of The Mail on Sunday before resigning in May 1993 and accepting freelancing contracts with a number of British newspapers and magazines. In November 1993 he accepted his first ghostwriting commission, helping Nottingham social worker Margaret Humphreys to pen her autobiography, Empty Cradles. Published in 1994, it told the story of how she uncovered the truth behind Britain's Child Migrant Program, which saw more than 100,000 children sent abroad between 1850 and 1967, and established the Child Migrant Trust to reunite children with their families. In 2011 Empty Cradles became the basis of the film Oranges and Sunshine directed by Jim Loach and starring Emily Watson as Margaret Humphreys and Hugo Weaving and David Wenham as two of the child migrants.

Michael Robotham went on to collaborate on fifteen "autobiographies" for people in the arts, politics, the military and sport. Twelve of these titles became Sunday Times bestsellers and sold more than 2 million copies. These books included the autobiographies of Spice Girl Geri Halliwell, British comedy actor Ricky Tomlinson and sixties musical legend Lulu.

In 1996 Robotham returned to Australia with his family and continued writing full-time. In 2002, a partial manuscript of his first novel, The Suspect, became the subject of a bidding war at the London Book Fair. It was later translated into 24 languages and sold over a million copies around the world. His books have since won, or been shortlisted for, numerous awards including the UK Gold Dagger and US Edgar Award

Five of his 'Joe O'Loughlin novels' have been turned into TV movies in Germany (situated in Hamburg), and an English-language TV series is in development. His stand-alone novels Life or Death and The Secrets She Keeps have also been optioned for film and TV projects in the US and UK.

Awards and nominations[edit]


Joseph O'Loughlin series[edit]

  • The Suspect (2004) ISBN 978-0-7515-4417-6
  • Lost (2005) (aka The Drowning Man) ISBN 978-0-316-25227-0
  • Shatter (2008)
  • Bleed For Me (2010) ISBN 978-0-7515-4109-0
  • The Wreckage (2011) ISBN 978-1-84744-220-8
  • Say You're Sorry (2012) ISBN 978-0-3162-2124-5
  • Watching You (2013) ISBN 978-1-8474-4527-8
  • Close Your Eyes (2015) ISBN 978-0-7515-5288-1
  • The Other Wife (2018) ISBN 978-0-7515-6282-8

Cyrus Haven series[edit]

Stand-alone novels[edit]


Neben der Spur - Television film series Germany, ZDF[edit]

  • Adrenalin (The Suspect)[4] 2014
  • Amnesie (Drowned)[4] 2015


  1. ^ ""Michael Robotham beats Stephen King to win Britain's Gold Dagger crime-writing award"". The Age newspaper. Retrieved 2015-09-30.
  2. ^ "Michael Robotham wins the 2020 Gold Dagger". The Booktopian. 2020-10-23. Retrieved 2020-10-23.
  3. ^ Mitchinson, James, ed. (24 October 2020). "Australian crime writer shows Midas touch again with sdcond gold dagger in five years". The Yorkshire Post. p. 14. ISSN 0963-1496.
  4. ^ a b http://www.zdf.de/ZDF/zdfportal/programdata/a48a4b94-9ee9-3154-a800-9c9bc56b8e43/20407396?generateCanonicalUrl=true

External links[edit]