Bloody Scotland Crime Book of the Year shortlist revealed

Crime fiction festival Bloody Scotland has revealed the shortlist for its annual book of the year award, recognising excellence in Scottish crime writing. Drawn from a longlist of 55 by an independent panel of readers, the winning author will receive a prize of £1,000 and promotion of their work in Waterstones branches across Scotland.

This year’s nominees are: Paths of the Dead by Lin Anderson; DM For Murder by Matt Bendoris; Dead Girl Walking by Chris Brookmyre; Thin Air by Ann Cleeves; The Ghosts of Altona by Craig Russell; and Death Is A Welcome Guest by Louise Welsh.

The winner of the prize will be announced as part of the festival on Saturday 12 September, at a gala dinner open to the public for which tickets are now on sale. This year’s judging panel consists of Waterstones’ Caron McPherson, broadcaster Sally Magnusson, and journalist Magnus Linklater. The award has previously been awarded to Peter May’s Entry Island, Malcolm McKay’s How A Gunman Says Goodbye, and Charles Cumming’s A Foreign Country.

The festival’s director, Dom Hastings, says of the shortlist:

This year’s shortlist is testament to the strength, variety and diversity of crime writing in Scotland.

You can travel from a misty midsummer night in Shetland to a high-security prison in the middle of an outbreak; experience the mysteries of a Druidic stone circle and the cut-throat anonymities of cyberspace, go on tour with a famous rock band or track down a long-lost killer.

It’s a bit of a spooky list, with several of the novels flirting with the supernatural; also, interestingly, four of the titles are anchored by long-standing protagonists, proving that innovation and excellence still flourish in ongoing series fiction. All in all, it’s a phenomenally strong showing, demonstrating crime fiction in Scotland is still in rude, bloody health.

Besides the presentation of the award, this year’s Bloody Scotland will also feature appearances from an international array of crime authors, including Martina Cole, Arne Dahle, Sophie Hannah, Linwood Barclay, Ian Rankin, Denise Mina, Val McDermid, Doug Johnstone, and grand old man of tartan noir William McIlvanney.