Friday, July 1, 2011

Billingham, MacBride, Child battle for Theakston!

The shortlist for the 2011 Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award has been announced, with a very strong longlist of 18 good and great books (including the likes of FIFTY GRAND by Adrian McKinty, FEVER OF THE BONE by Val McDermid, THE TWELVE by Stuart Neville, and A ROOM SWEPT WHITE by Sophie Hannah)cut down to a final six. The winner to be revealed on the first night of the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate on Thursday 21st July. Here are your remaining contenders:
  • FROM THE DEAD by Mark Billingham
  • BLOOD HARVEST by SJ Bolton
  • 61 HOURS by Lee Child
  • DARK BLOOD by Stuart MacBride
  • THE HOLY THIEF by William Ryan
  • THE ANATOMY OF GHOSTS by Andrew Taylor
There are some pretty good books there! I've read three of the six; Billingham, Child, and MacBride, and enjoyed them all. I've also got THE ANATOMY OF GHOSTS on my TBR bookshelf at home, and have heard some really good things about SJ Bolton.

Now in its seventh year, the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award, in partnership with Asda, and this year in association with the Daily Mirror, was created to celebrate the very best in crime writing and is open to British and Irish authors whose novels were published in paperback between 1st January 2010 and 31st May 2011.

The winner will receive a £3,000 cash prize, as well as a handmade, engraved beer barrel provided by Theakstons Old Peculier. “I’m delighted to see that the public have recognised the talents of a broad range of authors in this year’s shortlist, from a debut novelist to names that have been bestsellers for several years," said Simon Theakston, Executive Director of T&R Theakston. "This list reflects the wealth of crime fiction talent we have within the UK and Ireland that continues to grow each year."

Billingham is looking to make this year a hat-trick after winning the prize in 2005 and 2009 (for LAZY BONES and DEATH MESSAGE respectively). Lee Child, meanwhile, will be hoping that this will be his lucky year; the bestselling author has yet to win the prize, despite the fact that one of his Jack Reacher novels reportedly sells somewhere in the world every few seconds. Both authors will go head to head with last year’s Festival Chair Stuart MacBride, Andrew Taylor (whose Cambridge-set historical chiller won much critical praise upon publication), SJ Bolton (hailed as the “high priestess of rural gothic crime”), and debutant crime writer William Ryan.

So, who do you think should win? Have you read any of the shortlisted novels? Were any of the other 12 novels on the longlist your favourite instead (see full longlist here)? Comments welcome.


  1. Well, my favorite, Fifty Grand by Adrian McKinty didn't make it, nor did another great read, Winterland, by Alan Glynn. But it still looks like a fine shortlist.

  2. Although I've read works by a number of the authors, I haven't read any of those listed.