2017 Theakston Old Peculier Novel of the Year Longlist Announced

*Embargoed until 00:01AM 18 April 2017*


Big hitters including Lee Child and Val McDermid, feature on the longlist for the most prestigious crime writing prize in the country.

Now in its 13th year, the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award was created to celebrate the very best in crime fiction and is open to UK and Irish crime authors whose novels were published in paperback from 1 May 2016 to 30 April 2017.

Four previous winners of the award – Mark Billingham (2005/2009), Val McDermid (2006), Lee Child (2011) and Sarah Hilary (2015) return on 2017’s longlist.

The bestselling authors are also up against their compatriot in the crime writing establishment, Ian Rankin, who this year marks 30 years of his iconic creation Rebus.

Previous longlisted authors, Peter May, Stuart Neville, Eva Dolan, Ruth Ware, Antonia Hodgson and David Young, also feature.

The 2017 Award is run in partnership with T&R Theakston Ltd, WHSmith, and The Mail on Sunday.

The longlist, comprising 18 titles, is selected by an academy of crime writing authors, agents, editors, reviewers and members of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival Programming Committee.

The longlist in full:

Die Of Shame by Mark Billingham

Black Widow by Chris Brookmyre

Night School by Lee Child

After You Die by Eva Dolan

Lie With Me by Sabine Durrant

Real Tigers by Mick Herron

Tastes Like Fear by Sarah Hilary

The Last Confession Of Thomas Hawkins by Antonia Hodgson

The Darkest Secret by Alex Marwood

Coffin Road by Peter May, Riverrun

Out Of Bounds by Val McDermid

Those We Left Behind by Stuart Neville

Even Dogs In The Wild by Ian Rankin

Murderabilia by Craig Robertson

Birdwatcher by William Shaw

Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner

The Woman In Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

Stasi Wolf by David Young

Longlisted titles will feature in a dedicated online campaign with WHSmith as well as promoted in over 1,500 library branches from 18 April.

The shortlist of six titles will be announced on 20 May, followed by a six-week promotion in libraries and WHSmith stores nationwide.

The overall winner will be decided by the panel of Judges, alongside a public vote. The public vote opens on 1 July and closes 14 July at www.theakstons.co.uk.

The winner will be announced at an award ceremony hosted by broadcaster Mark Lawson on 20 July on the opening night of the 15th Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate.

The winner will receive a £3,000 cash prize, as well as a handmade, engraved beer barrel provided by Theakston Old Peculier.

Last year’s winner was Clare Mackintosh for I Let You Go, which has sold more than a million copies worldwide.

Executive director of T&R Theakston, Simon Theakston, said: “2017’s longlist features some of the most established names in crime fiction. In 2017 Ian Rankin celebrates 30 years of Rebus. 20 years ago, Lee Child introduced us to Jack Reacher, and Val McDermid recently celebrated publishing her 30th novel. It shows how the genre not only dominates publishing but shapes our cultural landscape. 2017 will no doubt be a hotly-contended award.”

Gemma Rowland, Operations Manager at Harrogate International Festivals, said: “The list demonstrates the scale and influence of crime writing talent at work today. This is one of the most sought after awards as The Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival has become the biggest celebration of crime fiction in the world. We also look forward to announcing the Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award, with past recipients over the years including PD James, Ruth Rendell, Reginald Hill and Colin Dexter.”

For further media information please contact Ann Chadwick at Cause UK 07534892715 Ann@causeuk.com



18 April: 18 longlist titles officially announced; titles promoted in libraries nationwide via posters/bookmarks.

21 April – 31 May: Longlist titles will feature online on WHSmith.co.uk and the WHSmith blog as well as in libraries nationwide

20 May: Shortlist of 6 announced; shortlist promotion in libraries via posters/bookmarks

1 June – 23 July: 6 Shortlisted titles will feature in a 7-week campaign in WHSmith stores nationwide

1 July: Online voting opens to the public for shortlisted titles on Theakston’s website; closes 14 July

20 July: Judging panel meet


The eventual winner of the Award will be determined by a combination of the results of the public vote (20%) and the deliberation of a judging panel (80%).

The judging panel is comprised of literary and broadcasting/media figures and representatives of T&R Theakston and WHSmith. 2017’s judges are: Festival Programming Chair Elly Griffiths, WHSmith’s Head of Fiction Sandra Bradley, Books Editor at The Mail on Sunday Marilyn Warnick, BBC Radio 2 Book Club producer Joe Haddow and executive director of title sponsor T&R Theakston, Simon Theakston.


The winner will be announced at the Awards ceremony in Harrogate at 8pm on Thursday 20 July 2017, hosted by acclaimed broadcaster Mark Lawson.


A cash prize of £3,000 will be provided for the winner. The winning author will also receive a handmade, engraved beer barrel provided by Theakstons Old Peculier.

The winning title will feature in a 2-week campaign in WHSmith stores nationwide.


2005 – Lazy Bones by Mark Billingham

2006 – The Torment of Others by Val McDermid

2007 – Two Way Split by Allan Guthrie

2008 – The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney

2009 – Death Message by Mark Billingham

2010 - A Simple Act of Violence by RJ Ellory

2011 – 61 Hours by Lee Child

2012 – The End of the Wasp Season by Denise Mina

2013 – Beasts and Gods, by Denise Mina

2014 – Rubbernecker by Belinda Bauer

2015 – Someone Else’s Skin by Sarah Hilary

2016 – I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of Cause UK, on Tuesday 18 April, 2017. For more information subscribe and follow https://pressat.co.uk/

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