LONGLIST REVEALED FOR UK’S MOST PRESTIGIOUS CRIME WRITING PRIZE THEAKSTON OLD PECULIER CRIME NOVEL OF THE YEAR 2020
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Oyinkan Braithwaite | Chris Brookmyre | Will Carver | Jane Casey | Lee Child | Ann Cleeves
Will Dean | Louise Doughty | Helen Fitzgerald | Jane Harper | Mick Herron | Val McDermid
Adrian McKinty | Denise Mina | Abir Mukherjee | Alex North | Laura Shepherd-Robison | Harriet Tyce
Harrogate, 7 May 2020: Today, the longlist of the UK and Ireland’s most prestigious crime novel award is unveiled with literary legends and dynamic debuts in contention for the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year…
Now in its 16th year, the most coveted prize in crime fiction, presented by Harrogate International Festivals, received a record number of submissions and this highly anticipated longlist of 18 titles – 10 of which by women – represents crime writing at its best: celebrating four former winners, a Booker Prize contender, and the fresh new voices taking the genre by storm.
The line-up of returning champions is led by Scottish supernova Denise Mina, vying to become the first author to complete a hat trick with the deeply unsettling thriller Conviction. Mina is joined by fellow Glaswegian bestseller Chris Brookmyre and his psychological suspense Fallen Angel, ‘Queen of Crime’ Val McDermid’s latest masterful Tony Hill and Carol Jordan investigation, How the Dead Speak, and Lee Child CBE, with the final Jack Reacher, Blue Moon, before sharing authorship with his brother Andrew.
The longlist also features several previously nominated authors hoping to go one step further and claim the trophy with Mick Herron securing a fifth pick for his much-lauded Slough House series with Joe Country and a nod for Abir Mukherjee’s new Wyndham & Banerjee instalment,Smoke and Ashes, and fan favourite Vera and Shetland author Ann Cleeves returns with The Long Call, marking the launch of a new North Devon series. Further Theakston alumni in the running include Adrian McKinty with his electrifying thriller The Chain, Helen Fitzgerald and the darkly comic Worst Case Scenario, and outback noir from Jane Harper in The Lost Man.
Rising stars of the genre are celebrated with three debuts on the list. Oyinkan Braithwaite, who was spotlighted in the Festival’s highly respected ‘New Blood’ panel in 2019, has been recognised for her Booker longlisted My Sister the Serial Killer. Harriet Tyce is in contention for her electrifying domestic noir Blood Orange that draws on her own experience as a criminal barrister, and Laura Shepherd-Robinson for the deeply atmospheric Blood & Sugar, bringing the 1780s Deptford Docks to life.
Established voices joining the Theakston ranks for the first time include Jane Casey and her latest Maeve Kerrigan instalment Cruel Acts, Alex North with his chilling police procedural The Whisper Man, Louise Doughty, who is longlisted for the eerily unnerving Platform Seven, Will Carver with the mesmerising thriller Nothing Important Happened Today; and Val McDermid’s 2018 New Blood selection: Will Dean and his eagerly awaited follow-up to Dark Pines, the stunning Scandi noir Red Snow.
The full longlist for the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year 2020 is:
My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite (Atlantic Books)
My Sister, the Serial Killer is a blackly comic novel about how blood is thicker – and more difficult to get out of the carpet – than water…
Oyinkan Braithwaite is a graduate of Creative Writing and Law from Kingston University. Following her degree, she worked as an assistant editor at Kachifo and has been freelancing as a writer and editor since. She has had short stories published in anthologies and has also self published work. In 2014, she was shortlisted as a top ten spoken word artist in the Eko Poetry Slam.
Fallen Angel by Chris Brookmyre (Little, Brown Book Group, Abacus)
ONE FAMILY, TWO HOLIDAYS, ONE DEVASTATING SECRET. The new nanny Amanda, the Temple family seem to have it all: the former actress; the famous professor; their three successful grown-up children. But like any family, beneath the smiles and hugs there lurks far darker emotions. Sixteen years earlier, little Niamh Temple died while they were on holiday in Portugal. Now, as Amanda joins the family for a reunion at their seaside villa, she begins to suspect one of them might be hiding something terrible… And suspicion is a dangerous thing.
Chris Brookmyre was a journalist before becoming a full-time novelist with the publication of his award-winning debut Quite Ugly One Morning, which established him as one of Britain’s leading crime novelists. His 2016 novel Black Widow won both the McIlvanney Prize and the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year award.
Brookmyre’s novels novels have sold more than two million copies in the UK alone.
Nothing Important Happened Today by Will Carver (Orenda Books)
Nine suicides. One Cult. No leader. Nine people arrive one night on Chelsea Bridge. They’ve never met. But at the same time, they run, and leap to their deaths. Each of them received a letter in the post that morning, a pre-written suicide note, and a page containing only four words: Nothing important happened today. That is how they knew they had been chosen to become a part of the People Of Choice: A mysterious suicide cult whose members have no knowledge of one another. Thirty-two people on that train witness the event. Two of them will be next. By the morning, People Of Choice are appearing around the globe; it becomes a movement. A social media page that has lain dormant for four years suddenly has thousands of followers. The police are under pressure to find a link between the cult members, to locate a leader that does not seem to exist. How do you stop a cult when nobody knows they are a member?
Will Carver is the international bestselling author of the January David series. He spent his early years in Germany, but returned to the UK at age eleven, when his sporting career took off. He turned down a professional rugby contract to study theatre and television at King Alfred’s, Winchester, where he set up a successful theatre company. He currently runs his own fitness and nutrition company, and lives in Reading with his two children. Good Samaritans was book of the year in The Guardian, The Telegraph and the Daily Express, and hit number one on the ebook charts.
Cruel Acts by Jane Casey (HarperCollins, Harper Fiction)
Guilty? A year ago, Leo Stone was convicted of murdering two women and sentenced to life in prison. Now he’s been freed on a technicality, and he’s protesting his innocence. Not guilty? DS Maeve Kerrigan and DI Josh Derwent are determined to put Stone back behind bars where he belongs, but the more Maeve digs, the less convinced she is that he did it. The wrong decision could be deadly… Then another woman disappears in similar circumstances. Is there a copycat killer, or have they been wrong about Stone from the start? From award-winning author Jane Casey comes a powerful Maeve Kerrigan crime thriller, a Sunday Times bestseller and winner of the 2019 Irish Independent crime fiction book of the year.
Jane Casey has written ten crime novels for adults and three for teenagers. A former editor, she is married to a criminal barrister who ensures her writing is realistic and as accurate as possible. This authenticity has made her novels international bestsellers and critical successes. The Maeve Kerrigan series has been nominated for many awards: in 2015 Jane won the Mary Higgins Clark Award for The Stranger You Know and Irish Crime Novel of the Year for After the Fire. In 2019, Cruel Acts was chosen as Irish Crime Novel of the Year at the Irish Book Awards. It was a Sunday Times bestseller. Born in Dublin, Jane now lives in southwest London with her husband and two children.
Blue Moon by Lee Child (Transworld, Bantam)
Jack Reacher is back in a brand new white-knuckle read from Lee Child. It’s a random universe, but once in a blue moon things turn out just right. In a nameless city, two rival criminal gangs are competing for control. But they hadn’t counted on Jack Reacher arriving on their patch. Reacher is trained to notice things. He’s on a Greyhound bus, watching an elderly man sleeping in his seat, with a fat envelope of cash hanging out of his pocket. Another passenger is watching too… hoping to get rich quick. As the mugger makes his move, Reacher steps in. The old man is grateful, yet he turns down Reacher’s offer to help him home. He’s vulnerable, scared, and clearly in big, big trouble. What hold could the gangs have on the old guy? Will Reacher be in time to stop bad things happening? The odds are better with Reacher involved. That’s for damn sure.
Lee Child is one of the world’s leading thriller writers. He was born in Coventry, raised in Birmingham, and now lives in New York. It is said one of his novels featuring his hero Jack Reacher is sold somewhere in the world every nine seconds. His books consistently achieve the number-one slot on bestseller lists around the world and have sold over one hundred million copies. Two blockbusting Jack Reacher movies have been made so far. He is the recipient of many awards, most recently Author of the Year at the 2019 British Book Awards. He was appointed CBE in the 2019 Queen’s Birthday Honours.
The Long Call by Ann Cleeves (Pan Macmillan, Macmillan/Pan)
In North Devon, where the rivers Taw and Torridge converge and run into the sea, Detective Matthew Venn stands outside the church as his father’s funeral takes place. The day Matthew turned his back on the strict evangelical community in which he grew up, he lost his family too. Now he’s back, not just to mourn his father at a distance, but to take charge of his first major case in the Two Rivers region; a complex place not quite as idyllic as tourists suppose. A body has been found on the beach near to Matthew’s new home: a man with the tattoo of an albatross on his neck, stabbed to death. Finding the killer is Venn’s only focus, and his team’s investigation will take him straight back into the community he left behind, and the deadly secrets that lurk there.
Ann Cleeves is the author of over thirty critically acclaimed novels, and she is the creator of popular detectives Vera Stanhope and Jimmy Perez who can now be found on television in ITV’s Vera and BBC One’s Shetland. The TV series and the books they are based on have become international sensations, capturing the minds of millions worldwide. Ann worked as a probation officer, bird observatory cook, and auxiliary coastguard before she started writing. She is a member of ‘Murder Squad’, working with other British northern writers to promote crime fiction. Ann is also a passionate champion for libraries and was a National Libraries Day Ambassador in 2016. Ann lives in North Tyneside near where the Vera books are set.
Red Snow by Will Dean (Oneworld, Point Blank)
Tuva Moodyson returns in a new thriller from the bestselling author of Dark Pines Winner of the Amazon Publishing Readers’ Independent Voice Award TWO BODIES One suicide. One cold-blooded murder. Are they connected? TWO COINS Black Grimberg liquorice coins cover the murdered man’s eyes. The hashtag #Ferryman starts to trend as local people stock up on ammunition. TWO WEEKS TO CATCH A KILLER Tuva Moodyson, deaf reporter at the local paper, has two weeks to track down the killer before she leaves town for good, but will the Ferryman let her go?
Will Dean grew up in the East Midlands, living in nine different villages before the age of eighteen. After studying law at the LSE, and working in London, he settled in rural Sweden, where he built a wooden house in a boggy clearing at the centre of a vast elk forest, and it’s from this base that he compulsively reads and writes. His debut novel, Dark Pines, was selected for Zoe Ball’s Book Club, shortlisted for the Guardian Not the Booker Prize and named a Telegraph book of the year. Red Snow is the second in the Tuva Moodyson series.
Platform Seven by Louise Doughty (Faber & Faber)
Platform Seven at 4am: Peterborough Railway Station is deserted. The man crossing the covered walkway on this freezing November morning is confident he’s alone. As he sits on the metal bench at the far end of the platform it is clear his choice is strategic – he’s as far away from the night staff as he can get. What the man doesn’t realise is that he has company. Lisa Evans knows what he has decided. She knows what he is about to do as she tries and fails to stop him walking to the platform edge. Two deaths on Platform Seven. Two fatalities in eighteen months – surely they’re connected? No one is more desperate to understand what connects them than Lisa Evans herself. After all, she was the first of the two to die.
Louise Doughty is the bestselling author of nine novels, most recently Platform Seven. Her previous novel was the top 5 bestseller Apple Tree Yard, which was chosen for the Richard & Judy Book Club, shortlisted for the Specsavers National Book Awards Crime & Thriller of the Year and the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger, longlisted for the Guardian’s Not the Booker Prize, and translated into over twenty languages. Her other novels include Whatever You Love, which was shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award and longlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction. She has won awards for radio drama and short stories, along with publishing one work of non-fiction, A Novel in a Year, based on her hugely popular newspaper column. She is a critic and cultural commentator for UK and international newspapers and broadcasts regularly for the BBC. She lives in London.
Worst Case Scenario by Helen Fitzgerald (Orenda Books)
Mary Shields is a moody, acerbic probation offer, dealing with some of Glasgow’s worst cases, and her job is on the line. Liam Macdowall was imprisoned for murdering his wife, and he’s published a series of letters to the dead woman, in a book that makes him an unlikely hero – and a poster boy for Men’s Rights activists. Liam is released on licence into Mary’s care, but things are far from simple. Mary develops a poisonous obsession with Liam and his world, and when her son and Liam’s daughter form a relationship, Mary will stop at nothing to impose her own brand of justice … with devastating consequences.
Helen FitzGerald is the bestselling author of ten adult and young adult thrillers, including The Donor (2011) and The Cry (2013), which was longlisted for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year, and is now a major drama for BBC1. Ash Mountain is the second title published with Orenda Books, after Worst Case Scenario. Helen worked as a criminal justice social worker for over fifteen years. She grew up in Victoria, Australia. She now lives in Glasgow with her husband.
The Lost Man by Jane Harper (Little, Brown Book Group, Little, Brown)
He had started to remove his clothes as logic had deserted him, and his skin was cracked. Whatever had been going through Cameron’s mind when he was alive, he didn’t look peaceful in death. Two brothers meet at the remote border of their vast cattle properties under the unrelenting sun of the outback. In an isolated part of Australia, they are each other’s nearest neighbour, their homes hours apart. They are at the stockman’s grave, a landmark so old that no one can remember who is buried there. But today, the scant shadow it casts was the last hope for their middle brother, Cameron. The Bright family’s quiet existence is thrown into grief and anguish. Something had been troubling Cameron. Did he choose to walk to his death? Because if he didn’t, the isolation of the outback leaves few suspects…
Jane Harper is the author of the international bestsellers The Dry, Force of Nature and The Lost Man. Her books are published in more than 36 territories worldwide, and The Dry is being made into a major film starring Eric Bana. Jane has won numerous top awards including the CWA Gold Dagger Award for Best Crime Novel, the British Book Awards Crime and Thriller Book of the Year, the Australian Book Industry Awards Book of the Year and the Australian Indie Awards Book of the Year. Jane worked as a print journalist for thirteen years both in Australia and the UK and now lives in Melbourne.
Joe Country by Mick Herron (John Murray Press)
In Slough House memories are stirring, all of them bad. Catherine Standish is buying booze again, Louisa Guy is raking over the ashes of lost love, and new recruit Lech Wicinski, whose sins make him outcast even among the slow horses, is determined to discover who destroyed his career, even if he tears his life apart in the process. And with winter taking its grip Jackson Lamb would sooner be left brooding in peace, but even he can’t ignore the dried blood on his carpets. So when the man responsible breaks cover at last, Lamb sends the slow horses out to even the score. This time, they’re heading into joe country. And they’re not all coming home.
Mick Herron’s six Slough House novels have been shortlisted for eight CWA Daggers, winning twice, and shortlisted for the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year three times. The first, Slow Horses, was picked as one of the best twenty spy novels of all time by the Daily Telegraph, while the most recent, Joe Country, was a Sunday Times top ten bestseller. Mick Herron was born in Newcastle upon Tyne, and now lives in Oxford.
How the Dead Speak by Val McDermid (Little, Brown Book Group, Little, Brown)
We are all creatures of habit. Even murderers…’ When human remains are discovered in the grounds of an old convent, it quickly becomes clear that someone has been using the site as their personal burial ground. But with the convent abandoned long ago and bodies dating back many years, could this be the work of more than one obsessive killer? The investigation throws up more questions as the evidence mounts but, after their last disastrous case, Tony Hill and Carol Jordan can only watch from afar. As they deal with the consequences, someone with a terrifying routine is biding their time – and both Tony and Carol find themselves closer to the edge than they have ever been before…
Val McDermid is a number one bestseller whose novels have been translated into more than thirty languages, and have sold over sixteen million copies. She has won many awards internationally, including the CWA Gold Dagger for best crime novel of the year and the LA Times Book of the Year Award. She was inducted into the ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards Hall of Fame in 2009, was the recipient of the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger in 2010 and received the Lambda Literary Foundation Pioneer Award in 2011. In 2016, Val received the Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award at the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival and in 2017 received the DIVA Literary Prize for Crime, and was elected a Fellow of both the Royal Society of Literature and the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Val has served as a judge for the Women’s Prize for Fiction and the Man Booker Prize, and was Chair of the Wellcome Book Prize in 2017. She is the recipient of six honorary doctorates and is an Honorary Fellow of St Hilda’s College, Oxford. She writes full-time and divides her time between Edinburgh and East Neuk of Fife.
The Chain by Adrian McKinty (Orion Publishing Group, Orion Fiction)
YOUR PHONE RINGS. A STRANGER HAS KIDNAPPED YOUR CHILD. TO FREE THEM YOU MUST ABDUCT SOMEONE ELSE’S CHILD. YOUR CHILD WILL BE RELEASED WHEN YOUR VICTIM’S PARENTS KIDNAP ANOTHER CHILD. IF ANY OF THESE THINGS DON’T HAPPEN: YOUR CHILD WILL BE KILLED. VICTIM. SURVIVOR. ABDUCTOR. CRIMINAL. YOU WILL BECOME EACH ONE. YOU ARE NOW PART OF THE CHAIN.
Adrian McKinty was born and grew up in Belfast, Northern Ireland during the Troubles of the 1970s and 1980s. His father was a boilermaker and ship’s engineer and his mother a secretary. Adrian went to Oxford University on a full scholarship to study philosophy before emigrating to the United States to become a high school English teacher. His books have won the Edgar Award, the Ned Kelly Award, the Anthony Award, the Barry Award and have been translated into over 20 languages. Adrian is a reviewer and critic for The Sydney Morning Herald, The Irish Times and The Guardian. He lives in New York City with his wife and two children.
Conviction by Denise Mina (VINTAGE, Harvill Secker)
It’s just a normal morning when Anna’s husband announces that he’s leaving her for her best friend and taking their two daughters with him. With her safe, comfortable world shattered, Anna distracts herself with someone else’s story: a true-crime podcast. That is until she recognises the name of one of the victims and becomes convinced that only she knows what really happened. With nothing left to lose, she throws herself into investigating the case. But little does she know, Anna’s past and present lives are about to collide, sending everything she has worked so hard to achieve into freefall.
Denise Mina is the author of the Garnethill trilogy, the Paddy Meehan series and the Alex Morrow series. She has won the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award twice and was inducted into the Crime Writers’ Association Hall of Fame in 2014. The Long Drop won the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Book of the Year 2017 and the Gordon Burn Prize. Conviction is the co-winner of the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Book of the Year 2019 and it was selected for Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine Book Club. Denise has also written plays and graphic novels, and presented television and radio programmes. She lives and works in Glasgow.
Smoke and Ashes by Abir Mukherjee (VINTAGE, Harvill Secker)
India, 1921. Captain Sam Wyndham is battling a serious addiction to opium that he must keep secret from his superiors in the Calcutta police force. But Wyndham finds himself in a tight spot when he stumbles across a corpse in an opium den. When he then comes across a second body bearing the same injuries, Wyndham is convinced that there’s a deranged killer on the loose. However, revealing his presence in the opium den could cost him his career. As Wyndham and Sergeant ‘Surrender-not’ Banerjee set out to solve the two murders, Wyndham must tread carefully, keeping his personal demons secret, before someone else turns up dead…
Abir Mukherjee is the bestselling author of the Sam Wyndham series of crime novels set in Raj-era India. His debut, A Rising Man, won the CWA Endeavour Dagger for best historical crime novel of 2017, was a Sunday Times Crime Book of the Month, and Waterstones’ Thriller of the Month. His second novel, A Necessary Evil, won the Wilbur Smith Award for Adventure Writing, was shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger for best crime novel of 2018, and was featured on ITV as a Zoe Ball Book Club pick. Abir grew up in Scotland and now lives in London with his wife and two sons.
The Whisper Man by Alex North (Penguin Random House, Michael Joseph)
You’ll hear the whispers. And then you’ll hear the screams… Still devastated after the loss of his wife, Tom Kennedy
and his young son Jake move to the sleepy village of Featherbank, looking for a fresh start. But Featherbank has a dark past. Fifteen years ago a twisted serial killer abducted and murdered five young boys. Until he was finally caught, the killer was known as ‘The Whisper Man’. Of course, an old crime need not trouble Tom and Jake as they try to settle in to their new home. Except that now another young boy has gone missing, stirring up rumours that the original killer was always known to have an accomplice. And then Jake begins acting strangely. He says he hears
a whispering at his window…
Alex North was born in Leeds, where he now lives with his wife and son. He studied Philosophy at Leeds University, and prior to becoming a writer he worked there in their sociology department.
Blood & Sugar by Laura Shepherd-Robinson (Headline Publishing Group, Wildfire)
June, 1781. An unidentified body hangs upon a hook at Deptford Dock, horribly tortured and branded with a slaver’s mark. Some days later, Captain Harry Corsham, a war hero embarking upon a promising parliamentary career, is visited by the sister of an old friend. Her brother, passionate abolitionist Tad Archer, had been about to expose a secret that he believed could cause irreparable damage to the British slaving industry. He’d said people were trying to kill him, and now he is missing… To discover what happened to Tad, Harry is forced to pick up the threads of his friend’s investigation, delving into the heart of the conspiracy Tad had unearthed. His investigation will threaten his political prospects, his family’s happiness, and force a reckoning with his past, risking the revelation of secrets that have the power to destroy him. And that is only if he can survive the mortal dangers awaiting him in Deptford .
Laura Shepherd-Robinson was born in Bristol in 1976. She has a BSc in Politics from the University of Bristol and an MSc in Political Theory from the London School of Economics. Laura worked in politics for nearly twenty years before re-entering normal life to complete an MA in Creative Writing at City University. She lives in London with her husband, Adrian. Blood & Sugar is her first novel.
Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce (Pan Macmillan, Mantle/Pan)
Alison has it all. A doting husband, adorable daughter, and a career on the rise – she’s just been given her first murder case to defend. But all is never as it seems… “Just one more night. Then I’ll end it.” Alison drinks too much. She’s neglecting her family. And she’s having an affair with a colleague whose taste for pushing boundaries may be more than she can handle. “I did it. I killed him. I should be locked up.” Alison’s client doesn’t deny that she stabbed her husband -she wants to plead guilty. And yet something about her story is deeply amiss. Saving this woman may be the first step to Alison saving herself. “I’m watching you. I know what you’re doing.” But someone knows Alison’s secrets. Someone who wants to make her pay for what she’s done, and who won’t stop until she’s lost everything…
Harriet Tyce grew up in Edinburgh and studied English at Oxford University before doing a law conversion course at City University. She practised as a criminal barrister in London for nearly a decade, and subsequently did an MA in Creative Writing – Crime Fiction at the University of East Anglia. She lives in north London. Her first novel, Blood Orange, published in 2019 to huge critical acclaim and was a Sunday Times bestseller.
Executive director of T&R Theakston, Simon Theakston, said: “Year on year, I’m astounded and delighted by how this exceptional genre continues to excel – we were deluged with record submissions and these 18 impressive titles demonstrate the quality and power of contemporary crime fiction. From the familiar faces to the new voices, we are immensely proud of this year’s longlist and raise a virtual glass of Old Peculier to all the authors, and what will be another fierce contest for this much-wanted award.”
The award is run by Harrogate International Festivals in partnership with T&R Theakston Ltd, WHSmith and the Express, and is open to full length crime novels published in paperback from 1 May 2018 to 30 April 2019 by UK and Irish authors.
The longlist was selected by an academy of crime writing authors, agents, editors, reviewers, members of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival Programming Committee, and representatives from T&R Theakston Ltd, the Express, and WHSmith.
The 18 titles will be promoted in a dedicated online campaign from WHSmith, digital promotional materials will be made available for independent bookstores, and the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival’s online community – You’re Booked – will raise a virtual glass to the titles and authors through interviews, features and a variety of further interactive content, as well as giving the opportunity to see a selection of events from the Festival’s extensive archive. This forms part of the Harrogate International Festival virtual season of events, which presents a raft of live music, specially commissioned performances, literary events and interviews to bring a free festival experience to your own digital doorstep.
The public are now invited to vote for a shortlist of six titles on www.harrogatetheakstoncrimeaward.com, which will be announced on 8 June.
The winner of this pre-eminent prize has historically been awarded on the opening evening of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival as part of Harrogate International Festival Summer Season, which this year was cancelled, with much sadness, due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This year, the winner will be revealed at a virtual awards ceremony on 31 July, and will receive £3,000, and a handmade, engraved beer barrel provided by Theakston Old Peculier