Craig Russell, Stuart MacBride and Alan Parks have joined two debut writers on the McIlvanney Prize shortlist, which honours the best in Scottish crime fiction.
The finalists were whittled down from a 13-strong longlist which included big names such as Val McDermid, Denise Mina and Chris Brookmyre.
Russell, a previous winner of the prize in 2015, was chosen this year for Hyde (Constable). Judges described him as “an author who never disappoints and always gets to the heart of a story” and said they “loved the presentation of Victorian Edinburgh and Celtic myths” in his new book.
The April Dead by Parks (Canongate), meanwhile, was selected for its innovation with judges singling out “the well-drawn characters and cliffhanger ending”.
Judges called The Coffin Maker's Garden by MacBride (HarperCollins) “a dark, edgy and original novel, full of action and a great sense of place with just the right kind of humour”.
Emma Christie is also on the shortlist for The Silent Daughter (Welbeck), with judges saying it took the domestic noir genre and offered “something fresh and different with well-controlled characters”.
The final shortlisted book is Edge of the Grave by Robbie Morrison (Macmillan), described as “a compelling exploration of gangland Glasgow, with a brilliant sense of period. They enjoyed the pace of the novel and the unforeseen twist at the end”.
Judges this year include Karen Robinson, formerly of the Times Crime Club, Ayo Onatade, winner of the CWA Red Herring Award and freelance crime fiction critic, and Ewan Wilson, crime fiction buyer from Waterstones Glasgow.
The Glencairn Glass is sponsoring both the McIlvanney Prize and the Bloody Scotland Debut Crime Novel of the Year. Culture & Business Fund Scotland has given matched funding. The winners of both prizes will be revealed at the Albert Halls in Stirling at 5.15 p.m. on 17th September and broadcast live online.