Crumey was born in Kirkintilloch, north of Glasgow, Scotland. He graduated with First Class Honours from the University of St Andrews and holds a PhD in theoretical physics from Imperial College, London.
In 2000 Crumey's fourth novel 'Mr Mee' was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. In 2006, Crumey became the fifth recipient of the Northern Rock Foundation Writer's Award. He now lectures part-time on creative writing at Northumbria University.