Saturday, July 3, 2010

12 down, 8 left - Vote for the Theakstons

A few weeks ago I highlighted how readers around the world could vote for their favourite from 20 novels longlisted for the 2010 Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award, the winner of which will be announced on the opening night of the upcoming Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, to be held in Harrogate from 22-25 July - which incidentally will be presided over by Scottish crime writer Stuart MacBride, who I recently interviewed for 9mm.

Now the longlist of 20 novels has been whittled down to a shortlist of eight, and again readers around the world can vote for their favourite online. The eventual winner will be decided by combining the result of this public vote with the votes of a panel of expert judges: Jenni Murray, BBC Radio 4 broadcaster and author; John Dugdale, Guardian Associate Media Editor; Natalie Haynes, comedian and journalist; and Simon Theakston, Executive Director of sponsor T&R Theakston Ltd. The eight shortlisted books are:
  • In the Dark, by Mark Billingham
  • The Surrogate, by Tania Carver
  • A Simple Act of Violence, by R.J. Ellory
  • The Crossing Places, by Elly Griffiths
  • Dead Tomorrow, by Peter James
  • Gallows Lane, by Brian McGilloway
  • Doors Open, by Ian Rankin
  • Child 44, by Tom Rob Smith
You can vote here. I've also added a Crime Watch poll (see sidebar), so we can see how the Crime Watch readership feels, and whether this ends up matching up with the judges' and wider voting public's opinions.

Now in its sixth year, the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award was created to celebrate the very best in crime writing, and is open to British and Irish authors whose novels were published in paperback in 2009. As such, the shortlisted books may not seem that recent to some (as they may have been first published in hardcover way back in 2008, and the authors featured have often published another book or two since).

The winner will receive £3,000 in cash, plus a handmade, engraved beer barrel provided by Theakstons Old Peculier. See a photo of last year's winner Mark Billingham with his Award to the left.

So which is your favourite of the eight finalists? Which of the 12 books that failed to make the cut (see the full list of 20 longlisted books here) was the unluckiest? What are the glaring omissions? Does your favourite book come from your favourite author, or has a newbie caught your eye? Thoughts and comments appreciated.


  1. Craig,

    I was born and raised in Chicago, and we were always encouraged at election time to vote early and vote often.

    Do you have the same rules here?

  2. The Theakston's award makes you put in your name/email address so you can only vote once (which is a good thing), and I think my poll on the sidebar also automatically only lets each person/IP address vote once.

    On the other hand, the NetGuide Awards I mentioned yesterday (for best NZ websites/blogs) seem to be more the All Star Game/American Idol style where people can vote more than once - so if you feel like voting for Crime Watch there, please do feel free to go back to your Chicago roots ;-)

  3. I don't think it will be fair if I vote when I have not read any of the books above. Anyway I have picked three to-read:
    The Crossing Places, by Elly Griffiths
    Child 44, by Tom Rob Smith
    In the Dark, by Mark Billingham
    ¿Any other suggestions?
    From Ian Rankin I have choose to-read The Complaints rather than Doors Open.

  4. I have read In the Dark and Child 44, which were both great, but my vote is for Child 44. I'd like to read all the books on the list, and I'm particularly interested in the The Surrogate by Tania Carver, and The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths. It's always good to find a new author!