Crime writers Val McDermid and Chris Brookmyre have been shortlisted for the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Book of the Year, alongside Doug Johnstone and E S Thomson.
McDermid's Splinter the Silence (Little, Brown), which is set in a "totally believable" world of internet trolling, and Brookmyre's Black Widow (Little, Brown) which deals with the subject of cyber-abuse, were praised by the judges for keeping their established series "fresh", with contemporary themes which are "immediately relevant to society today".
Johnstone's stand-alone psychological thriller The Jump (Faber) has also been shortlisted for the prize, along with Thomson's "atmospheric" historical crime novel Beloved Poison (Constable), the first in a planned series.
The winner of the Scottish Crime Book of the Year will be awarded The McIlvanney Prize in memory of William McIlvanney at the opening ceremony of crime writing festival Bloody Scotland. McIlvanney's brother, Hugh McIlvanney OBE, will travel to Stirling to present the award on Friday 9th September.
The winner will receive £1,000 and all four finalists will be presented with a full set of William McIlvanney novels.