Shortlist for Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year 2020 Announced
by Sarah Morgan
The annual festival may not be going ahead, but nothing – not even a global pandemic – will stop the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year being handed out.
The award is usually presented to the winning recipient during a lavish ceremony on the opening night of Harrogate’s hugely popular Crime Writing Festival, held every year at the town’s Old Swan hotel. This year, however, the winner will be revealed in a virtual ceremony on July 23rd – their prize is a cheque for £3,000 and an engraved oak beer cask.
Last year, Oyinkan Braithwaite appeared on Van McDermid’s New Blood panel, which focuses on promising first-time authors. Just 12 months later, Braithwaite’s novel My Sister, the Serial Killer has been nominated for the Booker Prize and is the first tome to make the Crime Novel of the Year shortlist.
“Fans can vote for their favourite”
The remaining five authors have appeared on the long list before. Mick Herron’s fifth nomination comes for his espionage tale Joe Country. Look out for a forthcoming TV series featuring Gary Oldman as central character Jackson Lamb.
The Times has described Abir Mukherjee’s Smoke & Ashes as ‘one of he best crime novels since 1945’, so there’s little surprise it’s now getting recognition from the Theakstons team. Glaswegian Helen Fitzgerald, who gained acclaim for her novel The Cry, which was recently adapted for TV by the BBC, has been nominated for Worst Case Scenario.
Fans can vote for their favourite at harrogatetheakstoncrimeaward.com. If you haven’t read any or only some of them, there should be plenty of inspiration there to keep you occupied during the rest of this extraordinary period of history.