Big hitters including Lee Child, Ian Rankin and Val McDermid, feature on the longlist for the most prestigious crime writing prize in the country.
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 1 May 2017 to 30 April 2018.
2018 marks the 14th year of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year award. The winner is announced at the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, hosted in Harrogate each July. The festival was established in 2003 by Val McDermid, agent Jane Gregory, and arts charity Harrogate International Festivals.
The award is run in partnership with T&R Theakston Ltd, WHSmith, and The Mail on Sunday. The longlist of 18 titles were selected by an academy of crime writing authors, agents, editors, reviewers and members of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival Programming Committee.
Four previous winners of the award – Val McDermid (2006), Lee Child (2011), Denise Mina (2012 and 2013) and Chris Brookmyre (2017) – return on 2018’s longlist. The longlist 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.
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 WHSmith and a nationwide library promotion.
The shortlist of six titles will be announced on 27 May, followed by a six-week promotion in libraries and in WHSmith stores nationwide. The overall winner will be decided by the panel of Judges, alongside a public vote. The public vote opens on 1 July and closes 14 July at www.theakstons.co.uk.
The winner will be announced at an award ceremony hosted by broadcaster Mark Lawson on 19 July on the opening night of the 16th Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate. They’ll 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 over the years including PD James, Ruth Rendell, Reginald Hill and Colin Dexter.