THERE’S been something of a changing of the guard in the talented and successful world of Scottish crime fiction.
With Ian Rankin having threatened to retire his legendary detective John Rebus, there’s a looming vacancy at the top of the Scottish crime writers’ list.
It may just have been filled by Christopher Brookmyre, who last week won Crime Novel of the Year at the Theakston Old Peculiar Crime Writing Festival for Black Widow.
The same novel last year scooped the McIlvanney Prize last year at Scotland’s own festival of crime writing, Bloody Scotland.
What’s more, Brookmyre has been nominated for this year’s McIlvanney Prize with his latest novel, Want You Gone.
The prize is named after the late and much-missed William McIlvanney, who is credited with inventing Tartan Noir with his Laidlaw trilogy, though the man who coined the phrase was American crime writer James Ellroy – a great compliment from one of the kings of the crime genre.
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.
His novels have been adapted into a four-part drama for BBC1 – here the author reveals why his thrillers are the real deal.
By Mark Lawson
Tuesday 11 July 2017
The problem with novelists, says Mark Billingham, is that “as a rule, they tend not to play well with others. You spend a year on your own writing a book. So it’s difficult suddenly to be thrown in a room with loads of other people.”
But the bestselling crime writer is, in three senses, coming out to play at the moment. He spent time on the set and in the editing suite of In the Dark, a four-part adaptation of two of his novels featuring DS Helen Weeks, a young detective who investigates a child murder while heavily pregnant. The day after we meet at his north London home, he’s off to Liverpool to start a promotional tour for Love like Blood, his 14th novel featuring London homicide detective DI Tom Thorne, and, while there, he has scheduled the first rehearsal for a summer tour with his rock band, the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers.