This is Mick’s first time of triumph in the UK’s most coveted crime writing prize after five appearances in the shortlist over the past six years, and comes after his bestselling series was adapted earlier this year as acclaimed Apple TV drama Slow Horses, starring Gary Oldman and Kristin Scott Thomas.
At the ceremony at the Old Swan Hotel in Harrogate last night, Thursday, which kicked off this year's Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, Joseph Knox was also recognised as Highly Commended for his novel True Crime Story, which blends fact and fiction to craft the story of a missing persons investigation hunting for a Manchester student who left a party in her dorms and was never seen again.
American crime fiction legend Michael Connelly received the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award in recognition of his incredible thirty year long writing career.
Connelly is, perhaps, best known for his Harry Bosch and Mickey Haller series, which have sold over 80 million copies and spawned a number of hit movies and TV shows, including Netflix’s The Lincoln Lawyer and Amazon series Bosch and Bosch: Legacy.
Michael Connelly said on receiving the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award: “This is an amazing honour as it covers the breadth of my work.
"It really means a lot to me. Many thanks to the Harrogate committee for this recognition.”
Sharon Canavar, Chief Executive of Harrogate International Festivals, commented: “We had an incredibly strong shortlist for the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year this year, and the judging panel and public had a tough job on their hands picking one winner.
"After a lot of discussion, the panel selected the wonderful Mick Herron, whose novel Slough House plunged readers back into the dangerous lives of the brigade of failed spies known as “slow horses”.
"The judges also recognised the irrepressible talent of Joseph Knox, noting him as Highly Commended for his first standalone novel True Crime Story.
“We are also delighted to celebrate the remarkable career of Michael Connelly, whose crime novels have kept readers on the edge of their seats for thirty years. Congratulations to Mick, Joseph and Michael, who demonstrate the incredible creativity, passion and imagination to be found in crime writing today.
"We couldn’t have wished for a better start to this year’s Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival!”
Simon Theakston, Executive Director of Theakston, added: “Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival has a well-earned reputation for showcasing the very best crime writing talent, and tonight’s award winners reflect these high standards perfectly.
"Mick Herron’s Slough House manages to combine intrigue, peril and humour in a deft exploration of international espionage, while Joseph Knox is a master of suspense with his taut tale of a missing persons investigation at a British university.
"And of course, last but by no means least, leading light of crime fiction Michael Connelly has gripped us all for decades with his brilliant stories, conjuring up a world of hardboiled LA detectives and shocking court cases.
"We are thrilled to raise a delicious glass of Theakston Old Peculier in their honour!”
Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival runs at the Old Swan Hotel in Harrogate from Thursday, July 21 to Sunday, July 24 and will see crime fiction icons including Kathy Reichs, Tess Gerritsen, Denise Mina, Lynda La Plante, Mark Billingham, Ann Cleeves and more take to the stage to discuss all things crime fiction at the world’s biggest celebration of the genre.
The Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year is presented by Harrogate International Festivals and sponsored by T&R Theakston Ltd, in partnership with Waterstones and the Express. It is open to full length crime novels published in paperback May 1, 2021 to April 30, 2022 by UK and Irish authors.
For tickets, visit www.harrogateinternationalfestivals.com