books, thoughts

Theakston Old Peculiar Crime Novel of the Year Longlist – Thoughts

From the press release:

Now in its 16th year, the most coveted prize in crime fiction, presented by Harrogate International Festivals, received a record number of submissions and this highly anticipated longlist of 18 titles – 10 of which by women – represents crime writing at its best: celebrating four former winners, a Booker Prize contender, and the fresh new voices taking the genre by storm.

The full longlist for the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year 2020 is:

My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite (Atlantic Books)

Fallen Angel by Chris Brookmyre (Little, Brown Book Group, Abacus)

Nothing Important Happened Today by Will Carver (Orenda Books)

Cruel Acts by Jane Casey (HarperCollins, Harper Fiction)

Blue Moon by Lee Child (Transworld, Bantam)

The Long Call by Ann Cleeves (Pan Macmillan, Macmillan/Pan)

Red Snow by Will Dean (Oneworld, Point Blank)

Platform Seven by Louise Doughty (Faber & Faber)

Worst Case Scenario by Helen Fitzgerald (Orenda Books)

The Lost Man by Jane Harper (Little, Brown Book Group, Little, Brown)

Joe Country by Mick Herron (John Murray Press)

How the Dead Speak by Val McDermid (Little, Brown Book Group, Little, Brown)

The Chain by Adrian McKinty (Orion Publishing Group, Orion Fiction)

Conviction by Denise Mina (VINTAGE, Harvill Secker)

Smoke and Ashes by Abir Mukherjee (VINTAGE, Harvill Secker)

The Whisper Man by Alex North (Penguin Random House, Michael Joseph)

Blood & Sugar by Laura Shepherd-Robinson (Headline Publishing Group, Wildfire)

Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce (Pan Macmillan, Mantle/Pan)

I love crime fiction, some people find it gory or unsettling but give me a good murder or a mysterious disappearance any day. Whenever I don’t know what to read next I pick up a good thriller and I’m instantly hooked.

I blame this love of crime on my dad and the local library – I was in the adult section at 10 and the largest selection was the crime fiction shelves. My dad is a fan too and when he was home we watched things like CSI together.

The calibre of crime writing has just been getting better and better and the recent years have seen an explosion of excellent writing from a wide and diverse range of writers. For a genre fan like me, it’s been an excellent time .

The Theakston’s longlist is an example of the incredible range of books being published at the moment. I’ve read over half the list and every single one has been an incredible reading experience.

I don’t envy the judging panel at all, picking a winner from this list is not going to be easy.

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