Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Mina, Russell, McSorley and Morrison: 2023 McIlvanney finalists revealed


This morning the finalists for the 2023 McIlvanney Prize have been announced, with the following four books emerging from a very strong longlist of contenders for Scotland's prestigious annual crime writing award, named in memory of the 'Godfather of Tartan Noir', the great William McIlvanney: 

SQUEAKY CLEAN by Callum McSorley (Pushkin): the judges said: "A wonderfully rich and funny new voice in Scottish crime. McSorley has created characters you invest in and plot that keeps you hooked right from the start."
THE SECOND MURDERER by Denise Mina (Vintage): the judges said: "Seriously stylish and oozing with attitude, this Philip Marlowe mystery is an exquisite read."
CAST A COLD EYE by Robbie Morrison (Macmillan): the judges said: "A story inhabited by brilliantly drawn characters. Not just a crime novel but a vivid and immersive account of life in Glasgow in the 1930s."
THE DEVIL'S PLAYGROUND by Craig Russell (Little, Brown): the judges said: "Mesmerising from the start. Devilishly dark and dripping with menace. A breath-taking masterclass in twisty crime writing."

The judges for the 2023 McIlvanney Prize 2023, being BBC Scotland presenter Bryan Burnett, former editor of The Sunday Times Scotland Jason Allardyce, and Category Manager for Waterstones, Angie Crawford, were unanimous in their praise for all four finalists. 

The quartet includes two previous winners, Craig Russell and Denise Mina, a previous winner of the Bloody Scotland Debut Prize, Robbie Morrison, and debut author Callum McSorley.
The four finalists, along with the authors shortlisted for the Bloody Scotland Debut Prize, will lead a torchlit procession from Stirling Castle to the Albert Halls on Friday 15 September where the winners of both prizes will be revealed and interviewed on stage by BBC Radio Scotland’s Janice Forsyth. 

These events are part of a three-day annual showcase of crime writing at Bloody Scotland, which is Scotland's international crime writing festival. Both prizes are again sponsored by The Glencairn Glass, Kirsty Nicholson, Design and Marketing Manager at Glencairn Crystal, said: 
"Now in our third year of sponsoring these prestigious awards with the Glencairn Glass, we’re very proud to be a part of this amazing Scottish annual event in the world of crime fiction. We continue to be impressed and enthralled by the talented authors who enter and we wish everyone the very best of luck."
The 2023 Bloody Scotland festival begins at 1.30pm on Friday, 15 September, with the final event concluding at 2pm on Sunday 17 September. It takes place at various venues in the historic centre of Stirling, including the Albert Halls, Trinity Church, and the Golden Lion Hotel. 

Legendary Scottish authors Val McDermid, Liam McIlvanney, and Denise Mina
at the torchlit parade at a past Bloody Scotland

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