Clare Mackintosh has scooped the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award for her first thriller I Let You Go (Sphere). Meanwhile, Val McDermid was honoured for her outstanding contribution to crime fiction.
Mackintosh was presented the award by title sponsor Simon Theakston and broadcaster Mark Lawson tonight (21st July) at the opening night of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival. Mackintosh collected a £3,000 cash prize, as well as a handmade, engraved oak beer cask made by Theakston Old Peculier.
Mackintosh spent 12 years in the police force, including time on CID, and as a public order commander. She left the police in 2011 and now writes full time.
Mackintosh beat off competition from the five other shortlisted titles which were Rain Dogs by Adrian McKinty (Serpent’s Tail), Career Of Evil by Robert Galbraith (Sphere), Time Of Death by Mark Billingham (Sphere), Tell No Tales by Eva Dolan (Harvill Secker) and Disclaimer by Renee Knight (Black Swan).
A special presentation was made to Val McDermid - the winner of the seventh Theakston Old Peculier Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award. McDermid joins Sara Paretsky, Lynda La Plante, Ruth Rendell, PD James, Colin Dexter and Reginald Hill as recipients of the prize.
McDermid said: “It's an honour and a thrill to receive this award. The community of writers and readers at the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival is unlike any other in its warmth and generosity and so this means a huge amount to me. This year sees the publication of my 30th novel and I can't think of a better way to celebrate that.”
J K Rowling, who writes crime fiction under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, sent a message of support, saying: “I’d like to add my note of congratulations to my friend and colleague Val McDermid, for her justly deserved Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award. She has been showing us all the way for a long time now. One of Robert’s proudest moments was receiving a favourable review from the great McDermid, who received a thank you note in fake handwriting, only to receive one two weeks later in my real handwriting when I was unwillingly unmasked.”
McDermid's 30th novel, Out of Bounds (Little, Brown), is published next month. McDermid co-founded the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival with the leading arts organisation, Harrogate International Festivals, and literary agent Jane Gregory, in 2003.
Simon Theakston said: “It gives us enormous delight to celebrate Val McDermid’s remarkable career. Val is very much the heart and soul of our festival. Her generosity to readers and authors alike, her role as a champion of the crime genre, and her support for new talent, are all qualities to be admired. She is unique, not only as the only author to sponsor a football team - her beloved Raith Rovers - but for remaining grounded and inclusive, amidst her enormous success.”
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