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.
Michael Connelly, Tana French, and Fiona Barton headline the nominees for the Strand Critics Awards and Clive Cussler receives the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Recognizing excellence in the field of mystery fiction, the Critics Awards were judged by a select group of book critics and journalists from news venues such as The Associated Press, NPR, TIME, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and several other daily papers.
This will mark the fifth best-novel nomination for Tana French (The Trespasser) and the fourth nomination for Michael Connelly (The Wrong Side of Goodbye).
• You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott (Little, Brown and Company)
• The Wrong Side of Goodbye by Michael Connelly (Little, Brown and Company)
• The Trespasser by Tana French (Viking)
• What Remains of Me by Alison Gaylin (William Morrow)
• Out of Bounds by Val McDermid (Atlantic Monthly Press)
• The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware (Gallery)
Best Debut Novel:
• The Widow by Fiona Barton (NAL)
• IQ by Joe Ide (Mulholland)
• The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell (Touchstone)
• A Deadly Affection by Cuyler Overholt (Sourcebooks Landmark)
• The Homeplace by Kevin Wolf (Minotaur)
• The Lost Girls by Heather Young (William Morrow)
“It’s nice to see some new faces in our best-novel list, such as Val, Alison, and Ruth,” said Andrew F. Gulli, the managing editor of The Strand. “And, 2016 also was the year where several debuts really hit it out of the park.”
Past recipients of the Critics Awards include Michael Connelly, Laura Lippman, Richard Price, Megan Abbott, George Pelecanos, Joseph Finder, Lauren Beukes, and William Landay.
Nine out of twelve nominees were female authors. “We’re happy that women have dominated the list of nominees this year and we hope that that trend will continue for a very long time,” said Gulli.
Clive Cussler was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award. In a career spanning forty-two years and over sixty novels, Cussler has a firm reputation among hundreds of millions of fans as the grandmaster of the adventure thriller. Not only are his works a constant presence on the New York Times Best Sellers list, but they have earned him comparisons to Alistair MacLean and Ian Fleming.
The awards will be presented at an invitation-only cocktail party in New York City, hosted by The Strand on July 12, 2017.
Her debut thriller was a phenomenon, but here an embarrassment of narrators and the clunky withholding of information is death to suspense
More accidents happen in the home than anywhere else, a fact to lend some much-needed plausibility to the overworked genre of domestic suspense, or grip-lit as it’s sometimes known. About 60 debut novels cross my desk every year (I chair the New Blood panel at the Theakston Old Peculier crime writing festival), and for the last three or four years, the proportion of this subgenre has been rising.
The author has to hold back information, hinting at its existence, obliquely suggesting where there might be secrets
Not a problem in itself: if the books were original, well written or thought-provoking, nobody would be happier than I. But sadly that’s not generally been the case. There have been notable exceptions, of course: clever, suspenseful reads such as Renée Knight’s Disclaimer or Ben McPherson’s A Line of Blood. Then there are the mega-sellers such as Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, SJ Watson’s Before I Go to Sleep and Paula Hawkins’s The Girl on the Train, which all gave us interesting twists on the idea of the unreliable narrator.
These books need to deliver at least one shocking moment when the reader realises that they have been looking at the picture the wrong way up. There must be a sudden twist in the direction of travel, taking us to an entirely unexpected destination. We readers journey hopefully, willing that moment to arrive.