Sarah Hilary wins crime novel award with Someone Else's Skin
A disturbing debut thriller set in a world dominated by domestic violence has been crowned crime novel of the year.
Someone Else's Skin by S arah Hilary s aw off competition from five other books.
The Bath-based writer picked up her £3,000 prize, formally known as the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award, at the Harrogate Crime Writing Festival which has been sponsored for many years by the brewery.
Hilary's novel, featuring detective Marnie Rome, involves a murder case set in a women's refuge.
Executive director Simon Theakston said: "It was a very tough decision, as it is every year, as all the books on the shortlist were outstanding, but I'm delighted to hand the trophy to Sarah."
There was also special recognition for US writer Sara Paretsky, the creator of Chicago private eye VI Warshawski, who was given the Theakstons Old Peculier Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award.
Accepting her award, she said: "When I created VI Warshawski, she created a few seismic shockwaves for being a female detective with gumption. I'm proud of that, and today it's amazing to be recognised for that legacy and to see so many female characters in the genre who are more than just a vamp or victim.
"This is such a prestigious award, not least because of the previous winners in whose footsteps I follow - PD James, Ruth Rendell, Reginald Hill and Colin Dexter. It's amazing to be the first American to infiltrate this list."