Crime author Clare Mackintosh has won the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year 2016 for her book I Let You Go. She was handed the award by Simon Theakston and broadcaster Mark Lawson tonight at the Crime Writing Festival, which began today in Harrogate, West Yorkshire. Along with a hand-engraved oak cask made by the brewer, she was given £3,000 prize money.
“I first came to Harrogate as an unpublished author so to win this award tonight is a dream come true,” she said as she received the award.
I Let You Go was a debut novel for Clare Mackintosh, yet it was one of the fastest selling books of 2015 and was one of our top recommendations here on Crime Fiction Lover. A clever combination of police procedural and psychologocal thriller, it begins with a little boy killed in the road, killed by a hit and run driver. You can read our full review here – it was awarded five stars by our contributor DeathBecomesHer.
The author spent over a decade in the police, including a stint in CID and as a public order commander. She later became a freelance writer, and now combines her knowledge of law and order and her writing skills to craft her crime novels. Watch for our review of her new book, I See You, soon here on Crime Fiction Lover.
Val McDermid honoured
Also on the stage to receive an award was Scotland’s queen of crime, Val McDermid. She becomes the seventh winner of the Theakston Old Peculier Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award, following Sara Paretsky, Lynda La Plante, Ruth Rendell, PD James, Colin Dexter and Reginald Hill. Well known for her Tony Hill and Carol Jordan series, as well as her fine standalone novels, her books have sold over 10 million copies in more than 30 languages. Her 30th novel, Out of Bounds, is due out in September.
In 2003, Val McDermid helped found the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, held in and around the Old Swan Hotel in Harrogate each year. She is a regular attendee of crime fiction conferences and events around the globe, and her Hill and Jordan novels have been adapted for TV as the show Wire in the Blood.
Val said: “It’s an honour and a thrill to receive this award. The community of writers and readers at the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival is unlike any other in its warmth and generosity and so this means a huge amount to me. This year sees the publication of my 30th novel and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate that.”
Simon Theakston added: “It gives us enormous delight to celebrate Val McDermid’s remarkable career. Val is very much the heart and soul of our festival. Her generosity to readers and authors alike, her role as a champion of the crime genre, and her support for new talent, are all qualities to be admired. She is unique, not only as the only author to sponsor a football team – her beloved Raith Rovers – but for remaining grounded and inclusive, amidst her enormous success.”
Watch for more from Harrogate 2016 in the coming days on Crime Fiction Lover.