Rankin, Billingham and Foley do battle on Theakston Crime Novel longlist

Rankin, Billingham and Foley do battle on Theakston Crime Novel longlist

The longlist for this year's Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year sees Ian Rankin plus former winenrs Mark Billingham and Steve Cavanagh up against a host of first-time nominees, including Lucy Foley.

Now in its 17th year and presented by Harrogate International Festivals, this year's longlist transports readers around the world, from California to Sweden, and Calcutta to a remote Irish island, and explores every sub-genre, from Scandi noir to murderous families.

Rankin has received a nod for A Song for the Dark Times (Orion); Billingham will be hoping for a third win with Cry Baby (Sphere); and Cavanagh is looking to beat the competition with Fifty Fifty (Orion).

A number of authors who have previously never been listed by the prize are recognised, including Foley with The Guest List (HarperCollins), Chris Whitaker with We Begin at The End (Zaffre), Scottish author Doug Johnstone with The Big Chill (Orenda), Liz Nugent with Our Little Cruelties (Sandycove) and Jane Casey's latest Maeve Kerrigan instalment The Cutting Place (HarperCollins).

The longlist also features several previously nominated authors with Elly Griffiths securing her seventh nod for The Lantern Men (Quercus) and Susie Steiner getting her third for Remain Silent (The Borough Press). Brian McGilloway picks up his second nomination for The Last Crossing (Constable), alongside Louise Candlish with The Other Passenger (S&S).

Also on the list are Three Hours by Rosamund Lupton (Viking) and Val McDermid with her newest Karen Pirie novel Still Life (Sphere).

McDermid picks emerging talent for the annual New Blood panel at Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival and is up against some of its former winners. They include Will Dean for his latest Scandi noir Black River (Point Blank), Eva Dolan for the newest instalment of her Zigic and Ferreira series Between Two Evils (Raven), Abir Mukherjee’s new Calcutta and Assam-inspired Death in the East (Harvill Secker) and finally, Trevor Wood with The Man on the Street (Quercus)

Simon Theakston, executive director of T&R Theakston, said: “The way the global obsession with the crime genre continues to grow year on year is simply astonishing and this year’s longlist proves the remarkable talent on offer in crime writing—from legends of the craft to eager-eyed newcomers. The shortlist is already too close to call so we encourage all to get voting! A hearty toast of Old Peculier to all longlisted authors for this coveted award, and we look forward to what we know will be a fiercely fought competition.”

The shortlist will be announced in June and the winner on 22nd July, at the opening evening of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival. The public are able to vote for the winner, who will receive £3,000 and a handmade, engraved beer barrel provided by Theakston Old Peculier.

The award is run by Harrogate International Festivals and sponsored by T&R Theakston Ltd, in partnership with W H Smith and the Express. It is open to full-length crime novels published in paperback between 1st May 2020 and 30th April 2021, and written by UK and Irish authors.