Local writers in running to claim crime writing gong
Two authors from Northern Ireland have been pitted against major names in the industry - including JK Rowling - to compete for a prestigious crime writing prize.
Competitors for the Theakstons Old Peculier crime novel of the year prize includes a number of debut novelists and stalwarts of the genre.
Local entries have been revealed as best-selling crime writer Adrian McKinty from Belfast and award-winning novelist, Stuart Neville from Armagh.
The 18-strong list of writers will compete for the £3,000 cash prize, as well as a handmade, engraved beer barrel.
McKinty's Rain Dogs and Neville's The Final Silence will compete for the UK's top crime-fiction writing prize.
Set in 1980s Belfast, Rain Dogs finds sarcastic detective, Sean Duffy, investigating the apparent suicide of a Financial Times journalist Lily Bigelow at Carrickfergus Castle. But the case takes a twist when he finds out that she was investigating corruption and abuse at the highest levels of power in the UK and beyond.
Neville's The Final Silence is the third of his novels to feature PSNI detective inspector Jack Lennon, this time trying to unravel the mysteries of a dead man's journal and a conspiracy that has stayed buried for decades.
Also on the longlist is Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith - the pen name for Harry Potter author JK Rowling.
The winner will be announced at an award ceremony in July on the opening night of the 14th Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate.
Previous winners of the award include Denise Mina, Val McDermid, and Sarah Hilary.