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Finalists for Scottish Crime Book of the Year Award announced ahead of Bloody Scotland festival

Ian Rankin, Val McDermid and Denise Mina at Bloody Scotland's opening parade last year (Paul Reich)
Ian Rankin, Val McDermid and Denise Mina at Bloody Scotland's opening parade last year (Paul Reich)

THE finalists for the Scottish Crime Book of the Year Award 2018 have been unveiled ahead of the Bloody Scotland International Crime Writing festival.

A panel of judges including comedian and crime fan Susan Calman, writer Craig Sisterson and Guardian books writer Alison Flood, have chosen their picks for the award from a twelve strong longlist.

The award, named The McIlvanney Prize in memory of William McIlvanney, recognises excellence in Scottish crime writing and includes a prize of £1000 and nationwide promotion in Waterstones.

The finalists include New Zealand based author Liam McIlvanney, the son of the man after whom the prize is named; Lin Anderson, a founder of Bloody Scotland and two former winners of the McIlvanney Prize – Chris Brookmyre and Charles Cumming.

The award will be presented at Bloody Scotland’s opening reception on Friday 8 September (for which tickets are already sold out) and the winner will lead a torchlight procession – open to the public – with Val McDermid and Denise Mina on their way down to their event.

Previous winners are Denise Mina with The Long Drop 2017, Chris Brookmyre with Black Widow 2016, Craig Russell with The Ghosts of Altona in 2015, Peter May with Entry Island in 2014, Malcolm Mackay with How A Gunman Says Goodbye in 2013 and Charles Cumming with A Foreign Country in 2012.

The 2018 winner will be kept under wraps until the ceremony itself.

 

The finalists, and what the judges said

 

Lin Anderson, Follow the Dead (Macmillan)

(Portrait by Paul Reich)

One of Scotland’s long running series raises the bar even higher, a series which is constantly re-inventing itself without being formulaic. The judges praised the novel’s evocative atmospheric setting.

Chris Brookmyre, Places in the Darkness (Little, Brown)

(Portrait by Paul Reich)

Chris Brookmyre is creating his own genre of cosmic noir in a fully realised world.  A superlative off world thriller about real world issues

 

Charles Cumming, The Man Between (Harper Collins)

A fresh twist on the spy novel, taking the genre to a different dimension, deftly weaving political events into the story. A superb page turner in the best possible way.

 

Liam McIlvanney, The Quaker (Harper Collins)

(Portrait by Michael McQueen)

 

In a crowded market, McIlvanney has created a protagonist who is fresh and distinctive.  He takes the familiar tropes and makes them extraordinary.