As gifted as any of the Old Masters, John Andrews has an extraordinary artistic talent. He also has an extraordinary secret – at almost 600 years old, the reclusive artist now living in England's Lake District is still as youthful as he was back in the 1460s.

Born Luca di Stefano in 1427 in Tuscany, he is apprenticed to the great Renaissance fresco painter, Piero della Francesca. Luca enjoys perfect health – no disease ever touches him – but as the years pass, he realises that there is something else profoundly mysterious about him: he is not ageing.

At sixty, his youthful looks become a threat to his life when a fanatical and over-zealous Church wants him burnt at the stake as an heretic, a servant of the Devil. Fleeing to Naples, he adopts a new identity and starts a new life, the first of many artistic personas through the centuries. But the threat of discovery and its consequences are never far away.

Fast forward to 2009 when John’s DNA is profiled. As the mystery of its full significance is slowly unravelled, his existence is again threatened: it is not only geneticists who are interested in his incredible DNA, there are others desperate for the secret of John’s longevity who will stop at nothing to get it.

An international, fast-moving suspense thriller, Rare Traits interweaves the present and the past, self-preservation and murder, art history and forensic science as it unfolds John Andrews' tale. It traces his lovers, his families, his enemies and friends, and the challenges he faces in order to survive. For no matter how long he lives, John can never stop looking over his shoulder.

In 2012, art-forgery-expert Ced Fisher is contacted by a woman from Boston wanting him to compare paintings by two female artists — one modern and one from the 19th century. When Ced discovers that the paintings are by the same artist, he immediately thinks of his 600-year-old artist friend John Andrews and his incredible history. Could the artist be John’s long-lost daughter, Paola Santini, born centuries ago in Naples? And if so, who is the woman in Boston?

Further enquiries reveal that the modern artist, Annie Carr, was a delusional murderer incarcerated in a state psychiatric institution in Colorado in 1970, and worse, she is now long dead. But was she delusional or was the psychiatrist who diagnosed her misled? And how accurate are the reports of her death?

The second book in the Rare Traits Trilogy continues the tale of 15th-century artist John Andrews and those who share his extraordinary longevity. Centred around the daughter John has never met, Delusional Traits is the story of a woman whose character was honed by adversity, her life a constant fight for survival in a world that will never understand her.

John Andrews is in a state of shock. Just weeks after meeting his daughter, Paola, for the first time — almost 500 years after she was born in Naples — she is abducted and DNA evidence shows that the culprit is Jacques Bognard, John’s seafaring friend from 17th century Marseille.

When the body of a brutally murdered, unidentified woman is discovered in Paola’s Cape Cod house and Paola’s own identity is found to be false, the police are baffled. And the deeper they dig, the more mysterious the case becomes.

In the gripping third book in the Rare Traits Trilogy, John Andrews finds himself in a desperate search for his daughter that leads him from the US to the UK and then to the area of Tuscany he knew as a young man in the 15th century.

Meanwhile, in the frustration of her captivity, Paola faces her demons …