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The Shortlist for the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year!!

Writing.ie | Guest Bloggers | Crime Scene

Louise Phillips

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Huge congratulations to Steve Cavanagh as the Irish voice on this list (Thirteen is a superb book) and to Khurrum Rahman for being shortlisted for a first novel – fantastic news!


Belinda Bauer – Snap

Steve Cavanagh – Thirteen

Mick Herron – London Rules

Val McDermid – Broken Ground

Liam McIlvanney – The Quaker

Khurrum Rahman – East of Hounslow

The prize, now in its 15th year, was created to celebrate the very best in crime fiction.


Belinda Bauer, a previous winner of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award, is shortlisted with her 2018 Man Booker longlisted, Snap, which is inspired by the murder of a pregnant woman, Marie Wilks, on the M50 in 1988. The judges described it as “an acute, stylish, intelligent novel about how we survive trauma.”


Thirteen, by Steve Cavanagh, hailed by Ian Rankin for “plotting that takes the breath away.” Thirteen offers an original twist on the courtroom thriller, where the serial killer isn’t on trial – he’s on the jury.

London Rules

Mick Herron’s widely acclaimed Jackson Lamb novels have been shortlisted twice for the Crime Novel of the Year. London Rules is the fifth outing for the band of spies with the backdrop of Brexit Britain and a terror plot.

Broken Ground

This Karen Pirie thriller by Val McDermid, digs up a secret buried for 70 years in a Highland peat bog and has been praised for its ‘masterly handling of pace and plot.’

The Quaker

The Quaker by Liam McIllvanney is set in Glasgow in 1969 drawing on the real-life, never-caught serial murderer, Bible John.

East of Hounslow

This is Khurrum Rahman first novel. East of Hounslow follows Jay, who ends up working undercover for MI5 while undergoing radical Islamist training.

The overall winner will be decided by the panel of Judges, alongside a public vote. The public vote opens on July 1 and closes July 14 at www.theakstons.co.uk.

Executive director of T&R Theakston, Simon Theakston, said: “All shortlisted authors are deserving of the title, but there’s only one Novel of the Year. The public vote will be invaluable, readers have real power, so I’d encourage everyone to make their voice heard – it’s free and simple to vote online. It will be fascinating to see which of these remarkable titles prevails, all are simply outstanding.”

The winner is announced on the opening night of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, on July 18, 2019

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

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