Debut novels knock heavyweights from crime shortlist

<p>Debut novels by Elly Griffiths and Tom Rob Smith have knocked off heavyweights including Martina Cole and Val McDermid from the shortlist for the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year. Griffiths and Smith will have to battle against seasoned writers such as Peter James, Ian Rankin and Mark Billingham for the prize; the shortlist was the result of a public vote, with the winner decided by the public plus a judging panel.</p><p>Reginald Hill, whose novels were made into the &#39;Dalziel and Pascoe&#39; TV series, has been awarded the inaugural Theakston Old Peculier Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award. Hill will receive his accolade alongside the winner of the &pound;3,000 prize on 22nd July at the annual crime-writing festival, with radio presenter Mark Lawson hosting.<br /><br />The shortlist in full:<br /><br /><em>In the Dark</em> by Mark Billingham (Little, Brown)<br /><br /><em>The Surrogate</em> by Tania Carver (Little, Brown)<br /><em><br /> A Simple Act of Violence </em>by R J Ellory (Orion)<br /><br /><em>The Crossing Places</em> by Elly Griffiths (Quercus)<br /><br /><em>Dead Tomorrow </em>by Peter James (Pan Books)<br /><br /><em>Gallows Lane</em> by Brian McGilloway (Pan Macmillan)<br /><br /><em>Doors Open</em> by Ian Rankin (Orion)<br /><br /><em>Child 44</em> by Tom Rob Smith (Simon &amp; Schuster)</p>