Authors in running for annual crime writing competition

Last year's Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year winner Lee Child, with his book 61 Hours.
Last year's Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year winner Lee Child, with his book 61 Hours.
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THE longlist has been unveiled for this year’s Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award in Harrogate.

A mix of writers old and new will do battle for what is one of the most prestigious crime writing prizes in the country.

Now in its eighth year, the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award, in partnership with Asda, and in association with the Daily Mirror, was created to celebrate the very best in crime writing and is open to British and Irish authors whose novels were published in paperback from June 1, 2011 to May 31, 2012.

Power-house authors John Connolly, Ian Rankin, Robert Harris, and Val McDermid are represented by The Burning Soul, The Impossible Dead, The Fear Index, and The Retribution respectively and former journalist and screenwriter Belinda Bauer makes the longlist for the second year running with Darkside, following her critically acclaimed debut, Blacklands.

Neil Cross, who will be discussing the hit TV series Luther at this year’s Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, also makes the list with The Calling.

Among the other nominations are:

Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London which imagines magical mayhem in the Metropolitan police force.

SJ Watson’s smash hit debut Before I Go To Sleep.

Tom Rob Smith’s Agent 6, the final in the trilogy about a former MGB agent, Leo Demidov.

The overall winner will be decided by a panel of experts which this year comprises DI Tom Thorne actor David Morrissey, festival chairman Mark Billingham, journalist and crime novelist Henry Sutton, Ruth Lewis, Fiction Buyer at Asda, and Simon Theakston, Executive Director of T&R Theakston Ltd; as well as members of the public.

The public vote opens on Thursday, July 5 and closes on Tuesday, July 17 at www.theakstons.co.uk.

The longlist in full is as follows:

Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch (Gollancz)

Darkside by Belinda Bauer (Corgi)

Now You See Me by SJ Bolton (Corgi)

Where the Bodies Are Buried by Chris Brookmyre (Abacus)

The Burning Soul by John Connolly (Hodder Paperback)

The Calling by Neil Cross (Simon & Schuster)

The Hanging Shed by Gordon Ferris (Corvus)

Bryant and May and the Memory of Blood by Christopher Fowler (Bantam)

Blue Monday by Nicci French (Michael Joseph)

The Fear Index by Robert Harris (Arrow)

The Retribution by Val McDermid (Sphere)

The End of the Wasp Season by Denise Mina (Orion)

Black Flowers by Steve Mosby (Orion)

Collusion by Stuart Neville (Vintage)

The Impossible Dead by Ian Rankin (Orion)

Mice by Gordon Reece (Pan Books)

Agent 6 by Tom Rob Smith (Simon & Schuster)

Before I Go To Sleep by SJ Watson (Black Swan)

l The winner of the prize will be announced by broadcaster and festival regular Mark Lawson at the opening night of the tenth annual Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate on Thursday, July 19,

The winner will receive a £3,000 cash prize, as well as a handmade, engraved beer barrel provided by Theakstons Old Peculier.

l More information at www.harrogateinternationalfestivals.com/crime/