Samantha Harvey’s The Western Wind (Vintage) has won the £1000 2019 Staunch Book Prize.
The medieval mystery thriller follows priest John Reve as he tries to resolve the death of a wealthy villager under the suspicious eye of the regional dean.
Bridget Lawless, founder of the Staunch Book Prize, said: “This year's winner is a hugely atmospheric and detailed medieval crime story with a man's soul at stake. Harvey's vivid prose and remarkable story-telling conjure a rich and entertaining slow-burn thriller out of mud, secrets, guilt and fear in an isolated 15th-century village.”
Harvey triumphed over competition including Liar's Candle by August Thomas (Simon & Schuster), Only To Sleep by Lawrence Osborne (Vintage), Honey by Brenda Brooks (ECW Press) and The Godmother by Hannelore Cayre (Old Street Publishing).
Entries to the Staunch Book Prize have to fulfil the criteria of being a thriller novel in which no woman is beaten, stalked, sexually exploited, raped or murdered.