And the winner is…
Debut author Sarah Hilary has scooped the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award for Someone Else’s Skin (Headline).
Hilary was presented with the award by title sponsor Simon Theakston and broadcaster Mark Lawson at the opening night of the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival (16th July) in Harrogate.
She beat off stiff competition from a shortlist of six, whittled down from a longlist of 18 titles (more below) published by British and Irish authors over the last year.
Hilary was signed by Headline in 2013 as a debut author with Someone Else’s Skin – the first of a new crime series – released in 2014. The novel has been described by prize organisers as a “compelling first thriller” which is “superbly disturbing, twisty and tricksy.”
Simon Theakston, executive director of T&R Theakston, said: “It was a very tough decision as it is every year as all the books on the shortlist were outstanding but I’m delighted to hand the trophy to Sarah.”
The 2015 Award is run in partnership with T&R Theakston Ltd, WH Smith and the Radio Times. Hilary collected a £3,000 cash prize, as well as a handmade oak cask provided by Theakstons Old Peculier.
A special presentation was also made to Sara Paretsky who won the sixth Theakstons Old Peculier Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award.
Paretsky said: “When I created VI Warshawski, she created a few seismic shockwaves for being a female detective with gumption. I’m proud of that, and today it’s amazing to be recognised for that legacy and to see so many female characters in the genre who are more than just a vamp or victim. This is such a prestigious award, not least because of the previous winners in whose footsteps I follow – PD James, Ruth Rendell, Reginald Hill and Colin Dexter. It’s amazing to be the first American to infiltrate this list.”
During the ceremony, the 2015 Festival Programming Chair Ann Cleeves and author Val McDermid paid tribute to PD James and Ruth Rendell, who received the Outstanding Contribution awards in 2011 and 2013 respectively.