Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Longlist
Giants of the genre are pitted against a clutch of new voices in one of the most prestigious crime writing prizes in the U.K.
Rankin and Child battle it out, each with their 19th novels in the iconic Rebus and Reacher series. Lee Child’s number one global bestseller Personal takes on Rankin’s Saints of the Shadow Bible, which brought Rebus back from retirement.
John Harvey’s Darkness, Darkness could be a swan song for the gong with Resnick’s last case, 25 years after the Detective Inspector’s first appearance.
2014 winner Belinda Bauer is back on the list with The Facts of Life and Death, a chilling story where lone women are terrorised in a game where only one player knows the rules.
Taking on the old guard is the debut that threatens to be “as big as Jo Nesbo”. The electrifying serial killer thriller, Eeny Meeny from M.J. Arlidge features the tough, determined and damaged DI Helen Grace.
Other debuts include the TV and film scriptwriter Ray Celestin’s The Axeman’s Jazz, a stunning atmospheric crime thriller set in 1919 New Orleans, inspired by a real life serial killer, and Sarah Hilary’s compelling first thriller, Someone Else’s Skin, which received critical acclaim for being superbly disturbing, twisty and tricksy.
Disappeared is Irish journalist Anthony Quinn’s first novel, set in a dark corner of Northern Ireland where the Troubles have never ended. And Antonia Hodgson’s debut, The Devil in the Marshalsea also makes the list with her medieval murder mystery.
Child 44 author Tom Rob Smith appears with his fourth novel, Number One bestseller The Farm, an utterly riveting and hypnotic psychological thriller part-set in Sweden.Scottish author Louise Welsh delivers with her first apocalyptic thriller in her Plague Times trilogy, A Lovely Way to Burn.
Now in its eleventh year, the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award was created to celebrate the very best in British and Irish crime writing and is open to crime authors whose novels were published in paperback from 1 May 2014 to 30 April 2015. The 2015 Award is run in partnership with T&R Theakston Ltd, WHSmith, and Radio Times.
The long list, comprising 18 titles, is selected by an academy of crime writing authors, agents, editors, reviewers, members of the Crime Writing Festival Programming Committee and representatives from T&R Theakston Ltd and WHSmith.
The longlist in full:
Eeny Meeny, M.J. Arlidge, Michael Joseph
The Facts Of Life And Death, Belinda Bauer, Black Swan
The Ghost Runner, Parker Bilal, Bloomsbury
The Axeman’s Jazz, Ray Celestin, Mantle
Personal, Lee Child, Bantam
The Killing Season, Mason Cross, Orion Fiction
Bryant & May – The Bleeding Heart, Christopher Fowler, Bantam
The Outcast Dead, Elly Griffiths, Quercus
The Telling Error, Sophie Hannah, Hodder & Stoughton
Darkness, Darkness, John Harvey, Arrow
Someone Else’s Skin, Sarah Hilary, Headline
Entry Island, Peter May, Quercus
Disappeared, Anthony Quinn, Head of Zeus
Saints of the Shadow Bible, Ian Rankin, Orion Fiction
The Farm, Tom Rob Smith, Simon & Schuster
A Lovely Way to Burn, Louise Welsh, John Murray Publishers
From 21 May to 17 June, longlisted titles will feature in a four-week campaign across all 600 WHSmith stores and 80 library services, representing a total of 1645 library branches. The longlist will be whittled down to a shortlist of six titles which will be announced on 15 June
The overall winner will be decided by the panel of Judges, which this year comprises of Executive Director of T&R Theakston Ltd. and title sponsor Simon Theakston, Festival Chair Ann Cleeves, Radio Times’ TV Editor Alison Graham, Head of Fiction at WHSmith, Sandra Bradley and Producer of the Radio 2 Book Club, Joe Haddow, as well as members of the public. The public vote opens on 1 July and closes 13 July at www.theakstons.co.uk
Previous winners of the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year award include Denise Mina, Lee Child, Val McDermid, and Mark Billingham.
The winner of the prize will be announced by title sponsor Simon Theakston at an award ceremony hosted by broadcaster and Festival regular Mark Lawson on 16 July on the opening night of the 13th annual Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate. The winner will receive a £3,000 cash prize, as well as a handmade, engraved beer barrel provided by Theakstons Old Peculier.