Adrian McKinty’s book The Chain has been named as the winner of one of the UK’s top crime-writing prizes, the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel Of The Year.
Two years ago the author had given up on writing and was working in a bar and as an Uber driver.
He said it was “amazing” to go from working his former jobs to winning the prize.
The Carrickfergus man added: “People think that you write a book and it will be an immediate bestseller.
“For 12 books, my experience was quite the opposite, but then I started this one.
“It was deliberately high concept, deliberately different to everything else I had written – and I was still convinced it wouldn’t go anywhere… but now look at this. It has been completely life changing.”
McKinty has been awarded £3,000 prize money.
Film rights for the book have been sold to Universal for a seven-figure sum, according to the award organisers.
He was revealed as the winner of the prize in a virtual ceremony on Thursday.
Simon Theakston, executive director of T&R Theakston, said: “Adrian McKinty is a writer of astonishing talent and tenacity, and we could not be more grateful that he was persuaded to give his literary career one last shot because The Chain is a truly deserving winner.”
The nominees for the prize included Blue Moon by Lee Child and How The Dead Speak by Val McDermid.