Bloody Scotland today (20th June) revealed the longlist for the McIlvanney Prize Scottish Crime Book of the Year Award 2017, which will see crime-fiction heavyweights, Ian Rankin and Val McDermid, competing with debuts writers, Helen Fields, Claire MacLeary and Owen Mullen.
The longlist for the award, recognising excellence in Scottish crime writing, was chosen by an independent panel of readers and features six male and six female writers, from both small Scottish publishers and large London houses. The winner will receive £1,000 and nationwide promotion in Waterstones.
Queen of Crime McDermid is longlisted for her 30th novel, suspenseful thriller Out of Bounds (Little, Brown) and Chris Brookmyre is also in the running for his psychological thriller Want You Gone (Little, Brown).
Macmillan also has two authors longlisted - Ann Cleeves' murder mystery Cold Earth featuring Shetland detective Jimmy Perez and Lin Anderson who is recognised for her 11th book in the Rhona MacLeod series, None But the Dead.
Rankin, who will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of his first John Rebus novel at RebusFest in Edinburgh, is longlisted for Rather Be the Devil (Orion).
Several new voices are also celebrated on this year's longlist.
Helen Fields is down for Perfect Remains, the first in a new crime series set in Edinburgh, following French lead character Detective Inspector Luc Callanach, a former Interpol officer. Claire MacLeary meanwhile is longlisted for Cross Purpose (Contraband), a debut "combining police corruption, gangs and murder with a paean to friendship, loyalty and how women of a certain age can beat the odds", and Owen Mullen for Games People Play (Bloodhound).
Former journalist Craig Robertson is in the running for Murderabilia (Simon and Schuster), Denise Mina for her CWA Endeavour Historical Dagger-longlisted book The Long Drop (Random House), and Craig Russell for his detective noir, set in 1950s Glasgow, The Quiet Death of Thomas Quaid (Quercus).
Rounding off the set is Jay Stringer with How To Kill Friends And Implicate People (Thomas & Mercer), in which one of the main characters is a hitman looking for love.
Bob McDevitt, director of Bloody Scotland, said: "In what is shaping up to be a record-breaking year at Bloody Scotland (we sold twice as many tickets on our first day as last year), I’m pleased to see so many of the highlights of the 2017 programme featured on this longlist. It’s also brilliant to see a few debut novels on there slugging it out with the more established names. I certainly don’t envy our judges the task of picking a winner from this excellent crop of crime novels."
The winner will be announced at the opening reception at Stirling Castle on 8th September, followed by a torchlight procession - open to the public - led by longlisted author Rankin.
Last year the Scottish Crime Book of the Year Award was renamed the McIlvanney Prize in memory of William McIlvanney who, says Bloody Scotland, established the tradition of Scottish detective fiction.