Big hitters including Lee Child, Ian Rankin and Val McDermid feature on the longlist for the 2018 Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year.
The prize was created to celebrate "the very best in crime fiction" and is open to UK and Irish crime authors whose novels were published in paperback from 1st May 2017 to 30th April 2018.
Four previous winners of the award - McDermid (2006), Child (2011), Denise Mina (2012 and 2013) and Chris Brookmyre (2017) - return on 2018’s longlist, which also features some of the genre’s "hottest new talent" including the debut novels of Jane Harper, Emma Flint, Joseph Knox, Imran Mahmood and Abir Mukherjee.
The winner is announced at the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, hosted in Harrogate each July.
Executive director of T&R Theakston, Simon Theakston, said: “2018’s longlist shows how strong and dynamic the genre is as it features so many debut novels, alongside established names. It shows how crime fiction not only dominates publishing but shapes our cultural landscape.”
The longlist will be promoted in a dedicated online campaign with W H Smith and a nationwide library promotion.
The shortlist of six titles will be announced on 27th May, followed by a six-week promotion in libraries and in W H Smith stores nationwide. The overall winner will be decided by the panel of judges, alongside a public vote, and announced at an award ceremony hosted by broadcaster Mark Lawson on 19th July, the opening night of the 16th Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate. The winners will receive a £3,000 cash prize, as well as a handmade, engraved beer barrel provided by Theakston Old Peculier.
The awards night will also feature the Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award, with past recipients including P D James, Ruth Rendell, Reginald Hill and Colin Dexter.
The longlist in full:
Want You Gone by Chris Brookmyre (Little, Brown)
The Midnight Line by Lee Child (Bantam)
The Seagull by Ann Cleeves (Macmillan)
Little Deaths by Emma Flint (Picador)
The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths (Quercus)
The Dry by Jane Harper (Abacus)
Spook Street by Mick Herron (John Murray)
A Death at Fountains Abbey by Antonia Hodgson (Hodder)
He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly (Hodder)
Sirens by Joseph Knox (Transworld)
The Accident on the A35 by Graeme Macrae Burnet (Saraband)
You Don't Know Me by Imran Mahmood (Penguin)
Insidious Intent by Val McDermid (Little, Brown)
The Long Drop by Denise Mina (Vintage)
A Rising Man by Abir Mukherjee (Harvill Secker)
Rather Be the Devil by Ian Rankin (Orion)
The Intrusions by Stav Sherez (Faber)
Persons Unknown by Susie Steiner (The Borough Press)