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Three books with Highland links among final names up for McIlvanney awards

By Margaret Chrystall

THREE books with Highland links have been longlisted for two top Scottish prizes for crime fiction.

Announced among the list of 13 for the McIlvanney prize which names the Scottish crime fiction book of the year is In A House of Lies, Ian Rankin – who stays part of his time in the Highlands at his house in Cromarty. Also just announced is Douglas Skelton from Glasgow, whose new thriller is set partly in Inverness at a Highland weekly newspaper.

Gareth Halliday. Picture: Chris Stuat
Gareth Halliday. Picture: Chris Stuat

And Inverness writer GR Halliday, whose first crime thriller From The Shadows was published earlier this year has already been announced as on the shortlist for the first-ever McIlvanney Debut Scottish Crime Book Of The Year.

The winners of both prizes will be announced at the opening reception of Bloody Scotland International Crime Writing Festival in Stirling on Friday, September 20.

This year David Baldacci is opening the festival and will be leading the torchlit procession with the winners of the McIlvanney Prize and the inaugural debut prize for Scottish crime book of the year.

The McIlvanney crime book longlist.
The McIlvanney crime book longlist.

The 13 crime books chosen for the McIlvanney longlist are as follows:

All the Hidden Truths, Claire Askew (Hodder)

No Man’s Land, Neil Broadfoot (Little, Brown)

Fallen Angel, Chris Brookmyre (Little, Brown)

Breakers, Doug Johnstone (Orenda)

All That’s Dead, Stuart MacBride (Harper Collins)

In the Silence, M R Mackenzie (Bloodhound Books)

Broken Ground, Val McDermid (Little, Brown)

A Breath on Dying Embers, Denzil Meyrick (Polygon)

Conviction, Denise Mina (Vintage)

The Way of All Flesh, Ambrose Parry (Canongate) aka Chris Brookmyre and Marisa Haetzman

In a House of Lies, Ian Rankin (Orion)

A Treachery of Spies, Manda Scott (Transworld)

Thunder Bay, Douglas Skelton (Polygon).

The award recognises excellence in Scottish crime writing and includes a prize of £1000 and nationwide promotion in Waterstones.

The McIlvanney debut shortlist.
The McIlvanney debut shortlist.

The five authors shortlisted for the debut prize, are:

All the Hidden Truths, Claire Askew (Hodder)

From the Shadows, G R Halliday (Vintage)

Black Camp 21, Bill Jones (Polygon)

In the Silence, M R Mackenzie (Bloodhound)

The Peat Dead, Allan Martin (Thunderpoint).

Two of the debut writers – Claire Askew and M R Mackenzie – have also made the longlist for the McIlvanney Prize itself.

Previous winners of that prize are Liam McIlvanney – William's son – with The Quaker in 2018, 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.

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