Four debuts are up for the Goldsboro Books Glass Bell Award pitted against John Boyne and The Silent Companions author Laura Purcell.
The six-strong shortlist for the £2,000 prize is dominated by new writers and could see Gail Honeyman add to her string of successes after she was nominated for her breakout bestseller Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine (HarperCollins). She is vying for the cash prize and personally engraved glass bell, along with American author Nathan Hill, for his multi-stranded mystery The Nix (Picador). Meanwhile Imran Mahmood is nominated for legal thriller You Don’t Know Me and is joined by Michael Joseph stablemate Ali Land for her tale of psychological suspense, Good Me Bad Me.
Boyne is in the running for his “Irish sweeping Odyssey” The Heart's Invisible Furies (Transworld) and historical fiction author Purcell earned a nod for her much-lauded thriller The Silent Companions (Bloomsbury), published by Bloomsbury imprint Raven Books last year, recently credited by industry insiders as one of the books helping to raise the genre of horror “back from the grave”.
The prize rewards “compelling storytelling with brilliant characterisation and a distinct voice that is confidently written and assuredly realised”, according to a Goldsboro Books spokesperson, and the winner will be announced at a party at the bookshop on 27th September. The prize is judged by Goldsboro Books founder and m.d. David Headley and his team at the bookshop.
He said: “Narrowing down the longlist to six titles has been an enormous challenge, but I am very proud of this wonderfully varied shortlist, which combines hugely exciting debuts, original and clever thrillers, a terrifying ghost story, and slice of Irish history. These amazing stories are entertaining, thought-provoking and sparked passionate discussions – I know that they will stay with us for a long time. Any one of them would be a worthy winner.”
The longlist of 13 books was revealed in June, and also heavily featured debut writers as well as more established names such as Jon McGregor and Laline Paull.
Chris Cleave took last year's prize for Everyone Brave is Forgiven (Sceptre), a “moving and unflinching novel about the profound effects that the Second World War had on ordinary citizens back at home in Britain”.