Mina's The Long Drop wins McIlvanney Prize

Mina's The Long Drop wins McIlvanney Prize

Denise Mina's The Long Drop (Harvill Secker) has been awarded the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish crime book of the year.

Mina, from Glasgow, accepted the annual prize at a ceremony at Stirling Castle marking the beginnning of the Bloody Scotland crime writing festival. 

She fought off competition from "Queen of Crime" Val McDermid, a finalist for Out of Bounds (Little, Brown), 2015's winner Craig Russell, a finalist for The Quiet Death of Thomas Quaid (Quercus), Craig Robertson, one of the founders of  Bloody Scotland International Crime Writing Festival, shortlisted for Murderabilia (Simon & Schuster) and Jay Stringer's How to Kill Friends and Implicate People (Thomas & Mercer).

Lee Randall, chair of the judges said The Long Drop was "one of the books of 2017 - in any genre". Based on true events, the "factional" novel centres on a a meeting in a Glasgow bar between murderer and liar Peter Manuel and businessman William Watt one December night in 1957.

"The Long Drop by Denise Mina transports us back to dark, grimy Glasgow, telling the social history of a particular strata of society via the grubby, smokey pubs favoured by crooks and chancers. She takes us into the courtroom, as well, where Manuel acted as his own lawyer, and where hoards of women flocked daily, to watch the drama play out," he said.

"Full of astute psychological observations, this novel’s not only about what happened in the 1950s, but about storytelling itself. It shows how legends grow wings, and how memories shape-shift and mark us. For my money this is one of the books of 2017 — in any genre."

Mina takes home a prize of £1,000 while her book will be the subject of a nationwide promotion in Waterstones.