Winter is a GCHQ field agent and the heroine of the Winter series.
‘The dread-locked teenager lounged, side on to the glass….Face on she had the kind of looks that bypass beautiful and go straight to unobtainable: long dark lashes, striking green eyes, sharp angular features. Not pretty. Spectacular.’
‘I lift the MP5 from the corner where I left it at the start of the evening. I check my boots with the eight throwing knives, I check the thigh holster ruining the line of my white satin evening dress. My reflection scowls in the glass panel of the door. A weaponised Grace Kelly.’
‘I’m not good with suffering. Other people’s suffering. I have to finish it. I don’t even like watching moths in a trap. My own suffering? I’m OK. I go into my head and it takes quite a lot to get me out of it. It took Everard five hours in the GCHQ medical centre to break me.’
On Snow White, her alter ego
‘I stare at my face in the tiny Eurostar toilet window and a Disney princess stares back. Long dark hair, big eyes. Snow white – my hitman alter ego. It was Snow White that took down Alek Konstantin.
It’s good to see you, Babe.
I swig ibuprofen for the swelling and Snow White winks.
Back in the game.
Snow White has never had to pass a psych test.
Which is just as well.’
‘He takes an elbow to the face, snatching at my arm. His fingers tear at my T-shirt and he is forcing me to my knees. I dip and heave and he goes over my shoulder landing hard on his back. Triumph burns through the dead, dark core of me. The blackness descends. I open myself up to it, drawing it around me like a mantle. I kick him hard to the head, his nose streams with blood. Once, twice, three times. I watch Snow White from above, kicking a corpse.’
‘subject is a sexual predator with a moral compass that points due self.’
In the Cage
‘The fury spits through me. I turn a three sixty, my canines snarling. The Arena looks different from down here. Light surrounded by darkness. I can hardly see the crowd but I can hear them. Anger at this collective insult. The spotlight shafts pick out pools of brilliance in the darkness. The lights dance against my eyes, messing with my vision. I shake my head against the angry buzzing in my blood.’
Extract from psych report
Overconfidence causes Winter to underestimate all around her. Under pressure she falls back on behaviour that has served her well in the past; physical aggression or seduction.
Fight it or fuck it.
Alex read history at Oxford and the British School at Rome and was set for a career in academia until the beginning of the tech boom woke a life long interest in the internet. She has spent twenty years in the City studying the rise of technology and its transformative effect on industry. She describes the ‘internet of things’ as the internet of increased attack surfaces.
Winter Dark is dominated by Firestorm, eBay for the contract kill market. As an analyst in the telecoms and electronics sector at the height of the dotcom boom, Alex watched the internet sweep away barriers, break down borders, transform every industry. Ever since, she has been fascinated by its potential to facilitate crime – a potential that, to date, has yet to be fully realised. She spends her days visiting London’s high security hosting sites and speculating about what might be.
WINTER DARK was short listed for Best Opening Chapter and Best Pitch at the York Festival of Writing and is the Audible 2019 Thriller of the Year