Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Four finalists for McIlvanney Prize announced - Bloody Scotland

Four Finalists announced for the McIlvanney Prize Scottish Crime Book of the Year Award 2016

Winner to be presented at Opening Reception of Bloody Scotland International Crime Writing Festival live on BBC TV on Friday 9th September 2016.

A panel of judges chaired by Magnus Linklater today reveal the four finalists for The McIlvanney Prize from a ten strong long-list featuring some of the best names in Scottish crime fiction.

The finalists include two leading crime writers – Val McDermid and Chris Brookmyre – who the judges praised for keeping their established series fresh, with contemporary themes which are immediately relevant to society today. In addition, Doug Johnstone, with a stand-alone psychological thriller and E S Thomson with an atmospheric historical crime novel, the first in a planned series, have made the cut.

The winner of the Scottish Crime Book of the Year will be awarded The McIlvanney Prize in memory of William McIlvanney at the opening ceremony of Bloody Scotland. His brother, Hugh McIlvanney OBE, will travel to Stirling to present the award on Friday 9th September. The winner will receive £1000 and all four finalists will be presented with a full set of William McIlvanney novels.

The judges who included award-winning librarian Stewart Bain and journalist Lee Randall commented that the list demonstrates the huge variety and vigour of crime writing from Scotland and explained why each book made the final four.

BLACK WIDOW by Chris Brookmyre  - this novel is like watching Olympic diving – just when you think the plot can’t twist again, it takes a new turn.  Even the twists have twists. With a theme of cyber abuse, this shows an author taking a long running series to new heights.

THE JUMP by Doug Johnstone – a taut psychological thriller with a powerful and absorbing narrative which makes this work a compelling read. The reader is drawn into a family drama, suicide, murder -- and a plot whose outcome remains nail-bitingly unresolved until the final pages.

SPLINTER THE SILENCE by Val McDermid - set in a totally believable world of internet trolling, this novel features established characters but moves their relationship into a new place, suffused with longing.  Easily accessible, even to those readers who have not been introduced to earlier books in the series.

BELOVED POISON by E S Thomson - an ambitious and original novel, full of vivid historical detail about Victorian medicine, and a richly gothic atmosphere with a large cast of wonderfully named characters,  including the strong lead character.

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