The shortlist for the third annual Deanston Scottish Crime Book of the Year features three debut novels.
Neil Broadfoot’s Falling Fast (Saraband), about a story-hungry journalist investigating the secrets of Edinburgh’s political culture, is up against In the Rosary Garden by Nicola White (Cargo), set in an Irish convent school where a dead baby is found in the 1980s. Meanwhile Natalie Haynes’ The Amber Fury (Corvus) follows a bereaved teacher taking on a class of difficult children in Edinburgh and worrying that the Greek tragedy she teaches them is being played out in real life.
The other books in contention for the prize are: Chris Brookmyre’s tale of two women whose fates have been secretly entangled since birth, Flesh Wounds (Little, Brown); Entry Island by Peter May (Quercus), following Detective Sime Mackenzie as he investigates a murder on a remote island; and Louise Welsh’s A Lovely Way to Burn (Hodder & Stoughton), set in contemporary London as it is ravaged by a mystery illness.
The award, which recognises excellence in Scottish crime writing, includes a prize of £1,000 and nation-wide promotion in Waterstone’s, is run by Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival and the Deanston Distillery.
The shortlist was chosen by a panel of readers from a longlist of 49 books. The judges for the prize are: Magnus Linklater, journalist and former newspaper editor; Angie Crawford, Scottish Buyer, Waterstones; and Jenny Niven, Portfolio Manager for Literature, Creative Scotland.
Dom Hastings, festival manager at Bloody Scotland, said: “We are delighted to be working with Deanston again on what is increasingly one of the most prestigious prizes on the Scottish literary scene – and especially given that the lineup this year is so strong.”
He added: “They are all fantastic books, which take a variety of approaches to the whodunnit structure. The strength and diversity of this year’s shortlist proves that Scottish crime writing is still burgeoning and pushing boundaries, whilst enthralling readers.”
The winner will be announced at a gala event on Saturday 20th September as part of the Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival. The previous winners are Malcolm Mackay with How A Gunman Says Goodbye (Mantle) in 2013 and Charles Cumming with A Foreign Country (Harper) in 2012.
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