Belfast Telegraph

Chris Brookmyre scoops top crime novel award for Black Widow

The awards ceremony also saw Lee Child presented with a prize.

Scottish author Chris Brookmyre has been named as the winner of a major crime-writing prize, beating renowned crime novelist Val McDermid to the accolade.

Brookmyre’s cyber-abuse effort Black Widow – which features his long-time character investigative detective Jack Parlabane – scooped the Theakston Old Peculier crime novel of the year award at the annual ceremony.

He was up against fellow Scottish writer McDermid for her 2016 novel Out Of Bounds, part of her Inspector Karen Pirie series, who previously won the title in 2006 and who last year won the ceremony’s top prize, the outstanding contribution to crime fiction award.

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Chris Brookmyre (Handout/Chris Close)

Brookmyre also fended off competition from his crime contemporaries Eva Dolan (After You Die), Sabine Durrant (Lie With Me), Mick Herron (Real Tigers) and Susie Steiner (Missing, Presumed).

The six shortlisted authors were chosen from a longlist of 18 British and Irish crime novels published in paperback between May 1 2016 and April 30 2017.

The Scottish scribe was presented with his award, which included a £3,000 cash prize, at the ceremony during the opening night of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate by broadcaster and author Mark Lawson and title sponsor Simon Theakston.

The event also saw a special presentation for Lee Child, the previously announced recipient of the eighth outstanding contribution to crime fiction award.

Ahead of picking up his award in July, Jack Reacher author Child told the Press Association: “It feels great but I always worry about lifetime achievement, what is that implying? Is it a hint?

“I feel a bit absurd getting it, if you look at the previous winner (McDermid), I feel unworthy in their company.”

Theakston, executive director of T&R Theakston, said: “We’re particularly delighted to be honouring Lee Child. He is nothing short of a phenomenon.”

He added that Child is “very deserving” of the accolade, adding that he “will have his rightful place in a pantheon of legendary crime authors who have achieved this honour to date”.

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Lee Child (Ian West/PA)

“The Jack Reacher series tops bestseller lists worldwide, with a staggering 100 million books sold. Lee is very deserving of this accolade, and will have his rightful place in a pantheon of legendary crime authors who have achieved this honour to date.”

The British author follows in the footsteps of McDermid, Lynda La Plante, Ruth Rendell, PD James and Colin Dexter for the title.

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