Arthur Hailey was born in 1920 at Luton, where he attended school, then worked as an office boy and clerk. At the age of nineteen, at the outbreak of the Second World War, he joined the Royal Air Force and rose through the ranks to become a pilot and Flight Lieutenant. In 1974 he emigrated to Canada where he was successively a real-estate salesman, business-magazine editor and a sales and advertising executive. He became a full-time author in 1956 following the overnight success of his television play 'Flight into Danger' which was performed worldwide, later becoming a novel and a film. He is the acclaimed author of eleven novels which have been published in twenty-seven languages. Arthur Hailey died on November 24, 2004.
In Ottawa, Vancouver and Washington, three seemingly unconnected events bring startling consequences for the head of a great government a man whose destiny hangs on a scrap of paper.