Penelope Evans was born in Wales but spent the majority of her growing up in Scotland. After reading Classics at St. Andrews, she came to London to train and practise as a criminal barrister. Assisting in cases that ranged from defending drunk drivers to Libyan bombers gave her enough material to write twenty books – but so far she has limited herself to nine, the latest being The Brief Lives of Ella Jenner.
Penelope is married with two very clever daughters and an eternally optimistic husband.
Speaking of her work, Penelope has said this: ‘At the heart of fiction – and I mean all fiction – there is nearly always a crime, a wrong – big or small – that one person commits against another. And it’s this that will give rise to so much else: desires that slide into obsessions, secrets into lies, hopes into fears. These are the things I am interested in, and the things I tend to write about. I call myself a crime writer, yet often nobody dies in my books. That said, people have told me they have been more unsettled reading me than anything else with a body count of three to the page…
‘On the other hand, my view of human nature is a soft one, I think. Given a chance, most of my characters would be better than the world has allowed them to be. Truth is what changes them, and no one is hopeless in my books…’