Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Bloody in Scotland: 2018 McIlvanney Prize shortlist revealed

Two past winners, the author of a 12-book series, and a Scottish author based half a world away have this morning been revealed as the finalists for the prestigious McIlvanney Prize. 

Now named after legendary Scottish author William McIlvanney, the Scottish Crime Book of the Year has been given out at the Bloody Scotland festival in Stirling since 2012.

McIlvanney, the 'godfather of Tartan Noir' who passed away in 2015, said after attending the festival that first year, "I went to Bloody Scotland and I was just knocked out… I’ve been at literary events where a lot of people have knives sticking out their back that they don’t know are there and this event was so friendly, so supportive I was honestly overwhelmed."

Charles Cumming, who won the very first Scottish Crime Book of the Year award for A FOREIGN COUNTRY in 2012, has this morning been named as one of four finalists for the 2018 prize, alongside 2016 winner Chris Brookmyre, Bloody Scotland founder Lin Anderson, and New Zealand based author Liam McIlvanney, the son of the man after whom the prize is named.

The winner of the Scottish Crime Book of the Year will be awarded The McIlvanney Prize in memory of William McIlvanney at the opening reception of Bloody Scotland at the The Church of the Holy Rude in historic Stirling on Friday 21 September (for which tickets are already sold out) and at 7.15pm will lead a torchlight procession – open to the public – with Val McDermid and Denise Mina on their way down to their event. The award recognises excellence in Scottish crime writing, includes a prize of £1000 and nationwide promotion in Waterstones.

The judges shared why each book made the final four from a strong 12-book longlist:

Lin Anderson, Follow the Dead (Macmillan): One of Scotland’s long running series raises the bar even higher, a series which is constantly re-inventing itself without being formulaic. The judges praised the novel’s evocative atmospheric setting.

Chris Brookmyre, Places in the Darkness (Little, Brown): Chris Brookmyre is creating his own genre of cosmic noir in a fully realised world.  A superlative off world thriller about real world issues

Charles Cumming, The Man Between (Harper Collins): A fresh twist on the spy novel, taking the genre to a different dimension, deftly weaving political events into the story. A superb page turner in the best possible way.

Liam McIlvanney, The Quaker (Harper Collins): In a crowded market, McIlvanney has created a protagonist who is fresh and distinctive.  He takes the familiar tropes and makes them extraordinary.

The judging panel for the 2018 McIlvanney Prize consisted of comedian and crime fan Susan Calman, features writer Craig Sisterson, and Guardian books writer Alison Flood. "I am absolutely delighted to be on the judging panel for the McIlvanney Prize this year," said Calman in June. "I’m an avid fan of Scottish Crime fiction and this is less a chore and more a dream come true."

Sisterson, the Chair of Judge in 2018, spoke of the influence of William McIlvanney when the longlist was announced: “Forty-one years ago, William McIlvanney rocked the British literary world with Laidlaw, a gritty and socially conscious crime novel that brought Glasgow to life more vividly than anything before. This year’s longlistees for the McIlvanney Prize demonstrate how modern Scottish crime writing has flourished from those seeds. From debutants to authors with more than 20 books, spy thrillers to long-running detective series, nineteenth-century mysteries to futuristic space station noir, there’s an amazing range of talent on show.”

On 21 September we will find out which of those amazing talents will be named this year's winner.

Bloody Scotland is Scotland’s International Crime Writing Festival, providing a showcase for the best crime writing from Scotland and the world, unique in that it was set up by a group of Scottish crime writers in 2012. The festival uses a number of atmospheric, historic venues in Stirling’s Old Town setting it apart from other literary festivals. Full information here.

If you would like to talk to any of the finalists or the Director of Bloody Scotland Bob McDevitt please contact fiona@brownleedonald.com 07767 431846.

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