Friday, July 18, 2014

Belinda Bauer wins Theakston Award

Congratulations to Welsh crime writer Belinda Bauer, who has been announced at the 2014 winner of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award as the annual crime writing festival in Harrogate opens. I was fortunate enough to be at this marvellous festival in 2012, where I saw Denise Mina win this award for THE END OF THE WASP SEASON. Mina followed that up by winning last year, and was in line for an historic threepeat, but Bauer stole the show with RUBBERNECKER, a novel about a student with Asperger's Syndrome who investigates a murder.

I actually received an advance copy of RUBBERNECKER while at Harrogate in 2012, but with all my moving around and travels the past couple of years, I have yet to read it (it's part of Mount TBR in my storage locker in my old hometown - the majority of what I stored were crime novels!). I did however read and enjoy Bauer's debut, BLACKLANDS, which ended up making the New Zealand Listener's 100 Best Books, amongst other accolades around the globe.

In a review of BLACKLANDS, which also focused on a young hero/investigator, I said:

On its surface, Blacklands is a deceptively simple story, yet Bauer imbues it with layers; fully-realised characters struggling at the margins of society, a well-evoked sense of both the wild beauty of the moors, and the ongoing effects on a family and community of horrific crime, long after the headlines have faded.

Congratulations to Bauer on winning the award from what was a good longlist and list of finalists!

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