Anstruther, on the east coast of Scotland not far from St Andrews. She studied English at Cambridge University. Aline lives in Edinburgh
Cold in the Earth, The Darkness and the Deep, Lying Dead,
Lamb to the Slaughter, Dead in the Water, Cradle to Grave
and Evil for Evil, published in November 2012.
writers and it’s a small literary community where everyone knows everyone else, so a new writer can get a public profile quite quickly.
fluently is French and so far they haven’t been published in France – but I keep hoping!
Q One reviewer said there is a ‘horribly looming sense of inevitability’ in your books. Are you aware of this when you are writing, and if so, do you build it deliberately?
A Yes, quite definitely. I was asked in an interview to define what makes a good crime novel and I described it as being ‘an absorbing plot that arises out of the nature of compelling characters. At the end, the reader should be able to see that the outcome was inevitable, but shouldn’t have been able to guess on the way through.’ My books are very much character based and I want the reader to understand as the book unfolds that the action develops from what each person is, that this is the only way they could behave in the circumstances. And yes, I try to build it by slowly shutting down the other possibilities so that there is the claustrophobic sense that they are being trapped by what they are.
Q Evil for Evil is the seventh of the Marjory Fleming series. Is it advisable to read them in order, or are they standalone investigations?
developed and I find myself looking forward to writing a scene which involves Tam, wondering what he’s going to say this time. All my own work, I thought, and then quite recently I was taken to watch police dogs working – and suddenly it all came back to me.