Congratulations go out to Abir Mukherjee, who has won the Telegraph Harvill Secker crime writing competition with a novel set in India in 1919, during the period of the British Raj. A Rising Man involves a brutal murder, political underpinnings, and a conflicted Indian police investigator who weighs up justice for the dead and justice for his people. Here’s a snippet for you:
“His body lay twisted, face up and half-submerged in an open sewer. Throat cut. Limbs at unnatural angles. A large brown bloodstain on a starched white dress shirt. Some fingers missing from one mangled hand and an eye pecked out of its socket. This last act the work of some hulking black crows that now kept angry vigil from the rooftops above.”
Over 400 would-be authors took part, sending in the first 5000 words of their novels to be judged by Alison Hennessey and Bethan Jones from Harvill Secker; Richard Reynolds, veteran crime fiction buyer at Heffers Bookshop in Cambridge; literary agent Sam Copeland from Rogers, Coleridge & White; and author Jon Stock.
Abir Mukherjee (pictured) has won a publishing deal with Harvill Secker and a £5000 advance to complete the novel. A highly-commended runner-up was Susanna Drury for Trust and there were four shortlisted entries: Guy Bolton for The Pictures, Josephine Jarman for Patience, Janet Olearski for Foreigner and Elle Wild for Strange Things Done. Names to watch in the future. You can read more about A Rising Man here and here.