Inspired by true crime events in Germany at the beginning of the twentieth century, new Alex Pine book The Killer in the Snow is a gritty look at murder in a winter landscape far from comfort and joy.
Alex Pine is a London born author who writes from his home in the south of England and from his apartment in Spain. The Killer in the Snow is the second Alex Pine book and the author has also published a comprehensive body of work under his other pseudonyms: Jaime Raven and JP Carter.
He describes the background to his chilling new work: “It was a true crime that took place in Germany in 1922 that got us [the author and his editor] thinking about the plot. Six people were found dead on a farm in what became known as the Hinterkaifeck Murders. It remains unsolved to this day. One intriguing aspect of the case was that footprints were found in the snow leading to the house but not away from it. This was something we used in The Killer in The Snow.”
The writer, who worked as a journalist after leaving his comprehensive school at 16 before moving into a career in television news and sport production, says that he owes his fascination with crime fiction to his mother: “Long before I became a journalist, I was interested in crime novels. My late mother was an avid reader of Micky Spillane and Agatha Christie novels. She urged me to read their books and I really enjoyed them. That’s how I became hooked on the genre,” he recalls.
Alex has been writing throughout his career and left television work four years ago to focus full time on being an author. He looks back at his early days as a news reporter, “While working as a reporter I covered a great many crime stories and these encouraged me to write thrillers and police procedurals,” he says. “Some of those stories and the experiences I had have featured in my books.
“To me crime fiction is the most interesting genre because there are always so many surprises, plus lots of twists and turns,” he continues. “Coming up with a devilish plot that no one else has thought about is so rewarding. But it’s also challenging because you’re forever competing against so many talented and creative writers.”
Alex lists Thomas Harris, Karin Slaughter and Ann Cleeves as among the writers who he admires most, “I read other crime novels both for pleasure and for research. I’ve learned a lot from reading books by other authors. I would like to explore something further from my own work but I never seem to have the time!”
For The Killer in the Snow, he was keen to revisit the Christmas setting of the first Alex Pine novel. “The winter landscape plays an important part in the stories and so do the Christmas and new year celebrations. It’s a time of year when emotions are running high and the impact of serious crime can be more strongly felt,” he explains.
Looking ahead, fans can look forward to another Alex Pine novel next year plus, “another book that I’ve already written under yet another pseudonym will be published early in 2023.”
The Killer in the Snow £7.99, Avon Books.