Howard Sounes
  Howard Sounes  

Author photograph by Jerry Bauer.



Howard Sounes is a British writer of bestselling biographies, histories and true crime books, published in the UK, USA and in translation in more than twenty languages.

Before he became an author, he worked as a newspaper journalist.

In 1994, Sounes broke major stories in the case of Fred and Rosemary West, a married couple who abducted, tortured and murdered women and girls, burying their victims under their home.

Having covered the West case extensively, Sounes wrote Fred & Rose, which was a bestseller in 1995, and has since become a true crime classic with sales exceeding 300,000 copies.

Fred & Rose is available as a Sphere paperback.

Howard left the newspaper industry in 1997 to write books full time, tackling a range of non-fiction subjects – each book chosen by the author because of his personal interest in the characters and the story.

The author has become known for meticulous original research, often interviewing over 200 people for a book, and for revealing new information about his subjects.

His second book was a biography of the American writer Charles Bukowski.

Charles Bukowski: Locked in the Arms of a Crazy Life was published by Canongate in the UK and Grove Press in the USA in 1998. It has been translated into many languages and is considered the classic life of the writer.

Sounes also edited an illustrated companion book, Bukowski in Pictures, published by Canongate in 2000, and distributed in the USA by Grove.

Howard Sounes is a leading expert on the life and work of Charles Bukowski.

He is also an expert on Bob Dylan, the subject of his fourth book.

When Down the Highway: The Life of Bob Dylan was first published in 2001 – in the USA by Grove, and in the UK by Doubleday – it made international news partly because it contained the revelation of a secret Dylan marriage.

The biography was a UK bestseller, a finalist for the Ralph J. Gleason Music Book Award in the USA, and named Music Book of the Year by Uncut magazine.

It has been translated into a dozen languages, selling over 150,000 copies, and was republished in a revised and expanded edition in 2011 – again by Doubleday in the UK and Grove in the USA.

The author’s next book was an investigative history of professional golf.

The Wicked Game: Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, and the Story of Modern Golf tells the story of professional golf through the careers of the three greatest players of modern times, and is an investigation into big business and discrimination in the game.

The Wicked Game was published in the USA in 2004 by William Morrow and by Sidgwick & Jackson in the UK, where it was long-listed for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award.

Following The Wicked Game, Sounes wrote a cultural history of the 1970s – a decade the author believed to have been undervalued.

In Seventies: The Sights, Sounds and Ideas of a Brilliant Decade, Sounes told the story of the best art, film, music, literature and architecture of the 1970s and the creative people behind the work.

Seventies was published in the UK by Simon & Schuster in 2006.

Ten years after writing Fred & Rose, Howard Sounes returned to true crime, writing a meticulously detailed account of a classic criminal caper.

Heist: The True Story of the World’s Biggest Cash Robbery tells how, in 2006, a gang stole £53 million in cash from a high security warehouse operated by the firm Securitas.

Heist  was published in the UK by Pocket Books in 2009, and has been optioned as the basis of a feature film.

Sounes next returned to popular music, writing Fab: An Intimate Life of Paul McCartney.

Fab was published simultaneously in three English editions in 2010 – by HarperCollins in the UK, Da Capo Press in the USA and Doubleday in Canada where the book was a bestseller.

The biography has also been translated into several foreign languages.

Fab was chosen by the American journals Booklist and Kirkus Reviews as one of the best biographies of 2010. It was published in paperback in 2011.

The author’s next book was Amy, 27, a study of the short life of the singer Amy Winehouse, and five other music stars who also died at the age of twenty-seven, and are often grouped together as members of the ‘27 Club’. The book deconstructs the mythology of the Club, while exploring the real problems that led these fragile artists to an early death. The book was first published in the UK (by Hodder & Stoughton) and in Canada (Doubleday) in 2013, and in the USA (Da Capo) as 27: A History of the 27 Club Through the Lives of Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse. Also available as an e-book and audio book.

Most of Howard Sounes’ books have been serialised prior to publication - in newspapers and magazines including Daily Mail and the Guardian in the UK; the Reader’s Digest and Chicago Sun-Times in the USA; the Canadian National Post and the Sunday Times Magazine in Australia.

Howard Sounes, who lives in London, is often interviewed about his specialist subjects.

He has also presented television and radio documentaries.

If you wish to invite Howard Sounes to contribute to a radio or TV show, to give a talk, or to write an article, please contact the author here:

Interview requests may also be made via Mr. Sounes’ agent, Gordon Wise, at Curtis Brown:

Curtis Brown
Haymarket House
28-29 Haymarket
London SW1Y 4SP

Telephone: 020 7393 4400
Fax: 020 7393 4401

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