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.
A torchlight procession is to open this year’s Scottish festival of crime writing, Bloody Scotland.
The procession for the annual festival will lead down from Stirling Castle to the nearby Albert Halls venue, where the author Ian Rankin will talk about 30 years of his most famous character, Inspector Rebus.
Another 30 year anniversary will also be celebrated at the festival, it has announced, with the event marking three decades of crime novels by Val McDermid.
The festival will once again also stage the McIlvanney Prize for the Scottish Crime book of the Year, which will also be announced at Stirling Castle, and will run from September 8 to 10.