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

Article by Louise Phillips © 21 May 2019.
Posted in Guest Blogs ().

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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LOUISE PHILLIPS is the author of four bestselling psychological crime thrillers. Her debut novel RED RIBBONS, and her subsequent novels, THE DOLL’S HOUSE, LAST KISS and THE GAME CHANGER, were each nominated for Best Irish Crime Novel of the Year. She won the award in 2013. Louise’s work has formed part of many literary anthologies, and she has won both the Jonathan Swift Award and the Irish Writers’ Centre Lonely Voice platform, along with being shortlisted for the Molly Keane Memorial Award, Bridport UK, and many others. In 2015, she was awarded a writing residency at Cill Rialaig Artist retreat and she was also a judge on the Irish panel for the EU Literary Award. In 2016, she was longlisted for the prestigious CWA Dagger in the Library Award, and her first two novels, RED RIBBONS and THE DOLL'S HOUSE, were published in the US. She has recently been awarded an Arts Bursary for Literature from the Arts Council of Ireland, and her latest novel, THE HIDING GAME, will be published on September 5th 2019. Louise Phillips is the crime writing mastermind behind writing.ie's Crime Scene blog.