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Photograph of the author Alex Dunlevy

Alex Dunlevy was born in Derbyshire, the son of a village headmaster. When he was still very young, the family moved south, to Betjeman’s Metroland before it was swallowed by London’s sprawl and became just another suburb. From the excellent, local primary, whose headmaster entered Alex’s early Saint Nov stories for an international competition in Italy, he won a state scholarship to a nearby public school where English master ‘Harry’ Hunter encouraged his early writing efforts, mostly poetry (including Sea Burial). Alex studied French and German literature at school and was entranced by Henri Alain-Fournier’s Le Grand Meaulnes and fascinated by the crime writing of Friedrich Dürrenmatt and Georges Simenon.

After the death of his father, when Alex was fourteen, his academic achievements took a dive and he became much more interested in cars and girls and drumming in a band. He decided against university and, instead, started work aged seventeen. Two years later, he left home for South Devon, looking to escape the suburbs in search of beauty.

Gradually, he drifted into a career in finance and writing was shelved, but it never left his thoughts and he knew that, somehow, he would get back to it one day. Alex started to do well and was asked to move with his company to Wiltshire. As the company grew, Alex grew with it and he found himself European Treasurer by his mid-thirties. He studied for an MBA at The University of Warwick and was awarded a distinction. Later, he joined a small, British services group as its first Finance Director, helping the company onto the Nasdaq market in New York and leading a string of acquisitions.

When this job came to an end, Alex went through a difficult period. He was struggling to see his next move and was hit by the loss of almost all the people dear to him in the space of a decade. Earlier, he had bought a ruined stone house in Crete. Now, he set about restoring it.

Since then, Alex has divided his time between Wiltshire and Crete. He finally returned to writing in 2016 after joining a local writing group and then Jericho Writers in Oxford. He began writing short stories, seventeen of which are now published in a collection: The Late Shift Specialist. The first draft of his debut novel, The Unforgiving Stone, was written in Crete, between August and November 2018. Many re-writes and endless edits followed before it was published in October 2020. Beneath the Stone was written in England and Crete between June 2020 and February 2021 and published March 2021.

The writers that have impressed and influenced Alex, over the years, include Thomas Hardy, Nevil Shute, John Le Carré, Frank Tilsley and, more recently, Khaled Hosseini, Donna Tartt and Jennifer Egan.

He loves gentle, intelligent people, soft jazz, solid rock music, walking in the fells, British crime movies, cricket, cats, cooking, red wine, swimming in the Mediterranean, al fresco dining with friends and hearing from his readers. (You can get in touch with him at

He hates violence and cruelty, petty bureaucracy, duplicity, being overcharged for mediocre meals and yappy dogs.