I saw my first photo of a murdered man when I was seven. It was in my father’s scrapbook and my brother, five years older than me, had dared me to look at it. My parents were away and my brother was babysitting. He turned into a very responsible adult and I’ve turned into a writer fascinated with crime. What I especially love exploring is what the close proximity to crime does to the people investigating it. Even as a child I realised that my father, a now-retired police detective, didn’t see the world the way other people did. In his day-to-day experience, he would mostly meet criminals, victims, suspects and his colleagues.
A few years after my father retired, police officers from Amsterdam visited him to re-open the investigation of a murder in my hometown that had stayed unresolved for over a decade. That image of the retired police detective being asked questions about an old case stayed with me even though in my book I changed everything else. I set the crime in the world of finance, which is where I work.
So my influences have been a combination of my father’s work and my own, probably quite fitting for a novel about a father-daughter relationship.
A Cold Death in Amsterdam by Anja de Jager is published by Constable