凯瑟琳·奥弗林出生于1970年，在英国伯明翰长大，在家里六个小孩中排行小幺，父母以经营糖果店为生。凯瑟琳曾经当过记者、网站编辑、邮递员，还在多个购物中心打过工。凯瑟琳并没有从小立志要成为一名作家，她只是把自己的真实情感付诸笔下，以自己成长的经历以及在唱片公司打工的际遇为线索，写下了其首部小说《那些逝去的》（What Was Lost, 2007）。该小说以一个生活在上世纪80年代中期的失踪小女孩的热情与乐观向上的态度，深刻揭露了现代人生活的无奈与空虚。从当初被出版社冷落到如今获得多项重要文学奖的提名，小说终于在2008年的柯斯达图书奖（Costa Book Awards）上获得了金奖，凯瑟琳也获得了当年英国Galaxy文学大奖年度新人的称号。
He never expected to see anything on the 1)CCTV. No one ever did on the 2)night shift.
He'd been looking at the same monitor screens for the past 13 years. When he closed his eyes he could still see all the empty corridors and locked doors in soft greyscale tones. Sometimes he thought they were just 3)flickering photographs—still lives that would never change. But then she appeared in the middle of the night and he never thought that again.
It was the early hours of 4)Boxing Day. Green Oaks Shopping Centre closed only on Christmas Day and Easter Sunday, and Kurt always worked both as part of the two-man skeleton crew. Because the customers didn't like it when the centre shut. On Christmas Day he'd seen the usual small angry crowd banging on the glass doors demanding admission. He'd watched them on the monitor and thought how like zombies they were. The undead demanding refunds and exchanges.
Now in the security office with only a beaten up Philips radio for company, he leaned back in the leather 5)swivel chair and unscrewed the lid of his 6)thermos flask—he wondered if it was too early to start his sandwiches. The DJ was dedicating “7)Wichita Lineman” to Audrey in Great Barr. Kurt quietly sang along with Glen. Scott had 8)drawn the short straw and was out in the darkness, 9)patrolling the icy, still car parks around the 10)perimeter. Kurt couldn't help but smile.
The camera view changed and 24 new flickering vistas opened up on screen. On the top left monitor he caught a brief glimpse of Scott walking 11)diagonally across the bottom half of the screen. His breath was visible for a second before and after his image appeared.
Kurt had a new year's 12)resolution. It was a week early, but he knew what it was already. It was easy to remember because it was the same as last year and the year before: he was going to quit his job and get out of Green Oaks. But this time he meant it. He'd never intended to stay in the job long and now 13 years had passed and he didn't know where they'd gone. Patrolling empty corridors, eating sandwiches in the middle of the night, looking at his reflection in the one-way glass. He seemed incapable of leaving; something always held him back. It bothered him that life was slipping through his hands and all he seemed able to do was watch it go. He had no ambition to do anything else, but he thought that he should.