Unveiled: Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel Shortlist


Shortlisted book stack

We are thrilled to share the shortlist for the UK’s most prestigious crime novel award, Theakston Old Peculier.

Now in its 17th year, the most coveted prize in crime fiction – presented by Harrogate International Festivals – celebrates crime writing at its best, transporting readers around the world from Calcutta to California to the frigid North Sea.

The six books selected for the shortlist for the Crime Novel of the Year 2021:

  • The Lantern Men by Elly Griffiths (Quercus, Quercus Fiction)
  • Three Hours by Rosamund Lupton (Penguin Random House UK, Viking)
  • The Last Crossing by Brian McGilloway (Little, Brown Book Group, Constable)
  • Death in the East by Abir Mukherjee (VINTAGE, Harvill Secker)
  • We Begin At The End by Chris Whitaker (Bonnier Books UK, Zaffre)
  • The Man on the Street by Trevor Wood (Quercus, Quercus Fiction)

Author Chris Whitaker hopes to claim the trophy on his first ever nomination with We Begin at The End, a powerful story of crime, punishment, love and redemption set in coastal California.

Sunday Times bestselling author Rosamund Lupton’s thrilling story of gunmen opening fire on a Somerset School has clinched a coveted spot on the shortlist. Three Hours sets the clock ticking for the hostages in a nail-biting exploration of white supremacy and radicalisation.

The creator of Norfolk’s best loved forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway, Elly Griffiths, is hoping that her seventh prize nomination takes her one step further to take the title. The twelfth novel in the whodunnit series, The Lantern Men sees Galloway return to the fens to hunt down a serial killer.

Trevor Wood’s meteoric rise continues as the debut author goes from being selected for Val McDermid’s highly respected ‘New Blood’ panel at the 2020 Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival to being shortlisted for the coveted trophy with his acclaimed novel The Man on the Street. As a former naval officer, Wood brings to bear remarkable insight in this story of a homeless Falklands veteran with severe PTSD turned criminal investigator.

Scottish-Bengali author Abir Mukherjee is vying for his latest Wyndham & Banerjee novel Death in the East. A mesmerising portrait of India, Assam and East End London, perhaps this third nomination for will prove lucky for the account-turned best-selling author?

The final title on this year’s shortlist is Northern Irish author Brian McGilloway’s second nomination for political thriller The Last Crossing which looks at The Troubles from the perspective of former operatives who like to think they have moved on.

Vote For Your Favourite

The public are now invited to vote for the winner at www.harrogatetheakstoncrimeaward.com and the winner will be announced on the opening night of Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, Thursday July 22.

Executive director of T&R Theakston, Simon Theakston, said,

This is it: the crème de la crème of crime.

“This shortlist really does showcase the breadth and depth of the genre. It’s going to be a fiercely fought prize this year so make sure you vote for your favourite. Until then, I look forward to raising a glass of Old Peculier at the winner’s announcement on 22 July!”

 

Sarah Proctor

I've worked on a variety of regional newspapers and national magazines. My Weekly and Your Best Ever Christmas are fantastic, warm-hearted brands with an amazing, talented team. I'm a sub-editor and particularly love working on cookery, fiction and advice pages - I feel I should know all the secrets of eternal life, health and happiness by now, but hey, we all need that regular reminder!