Irish Author On The Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel Of The Year Shortlist

Debut Irish novelist William Ryan has made this year’s shortlist for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award. The newcomer will be battling for the coveted prize amongst five crime fiction stalwarts.

Also on the shortlist is Mark Billingham, 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 sells somewhere in the world every few seconds. Both authors will go head to head with last year’s Festival Chair Stuart MacBride, and Andrew Taylor, whose Cambridge-set historical chiller Anatomy of Ghosts won much critical praise upon publication.

Lancashire-born SJ Bolton is the only woman to have made the cut with Blood Harvest. Having burst onto the crime scene in 2008, she has been hailed the ‘high priestess of rural gothic crime.’

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 1 January 2010 and 31 May 2011.

The winner of the prize will be announced by radio broadcaster and festival regular Mark Lawson on the opening night of the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate on Thursday 21st July. The winner will receive a £3,000 cash prize, as well as a handmade, engraved beer barrel provided by Theakstons Old Peculier.

On the same night, a special presentation will be made to the winner of the second Theakstons Old Peculier Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award, which this year is presented to P.D. James.

The shortlist in full:
From The Dead by Mark Billingham (Sphere)
Blood Harvest by SJ Bolton (Corgi Books)
61 Hours by Lee Child (Bantam Books)
Dark Blood by Stuart MacBride (Harper Fiction)
The Holy Thief by William Ryan (Pan Books)
The Anatomy of Ghosts by Andrew Taylor (Michael Joseph)