Belinda Bauer has won the £3,000 Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year award for her fourth novel, Rubbernecker (Bantam Press).
Bauer was presented with the award, which is marking its 10th year, on the opening night of the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate (Thursday 17th July).
The writer beat off competition from fellow shortlistees including Denise Mina and Mark Billingham to win the prize.
Rubbernecker tells the story of Patrick Fort, a medical student with Asperger's Syndrome, who examines a body in anatomy class and is faced with trying to solve a possible murder.
Theakston executive director Simon Theakston, a judge for the award, commented: "It was a very tough decision as it is every year as all the books on the shortlist were outstanding." Also judging were WH Smith head of fiction David Swillman and author Steve Mosby and journalist Alison Graham.
A special presentation was made to Lynda La Plante, named fifth winner of the Theakstons Old Peculier Oustanding Contribution to Crime Fiction award. La Plante joins Ruth Rendell, P D James, Colin Dexter and Reginald Hill, also honoured in the same way. Theakston praised the "huge contribution" La Plante had made "not only to crime fiction, but to British culture as a whole with her iconic television oeuvre."
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