In just over 10 days’ time I’ll be heading up to the beautiful spa town of Harrogate once again to attend the Theakstons Old Peculiar Crime Writing Festival at the Old Swan Hotel. It’s another terrific line-up, and it’s one I’ll be reporting from (as per usual). In the meantime, the shortlist for the festival’s prestigious awards have been announced, and there are some real crackers in there. Read on for more.
So, without further ado, here they are:
Lie With Me
It starts with a lie. The kind we’ve all told – to a former acquaintance we can’t quite place but still, for some reason, feel the need to impress. The story of our life, embellished for the benefit of the happily married lawyer with the kids and the lovely home. And the next thing you know, you’re having dinner at their house, and accepting an invitation to join them on holiday – swept up in their perfect life, the kind you always dreamed of… Which turns out to be less than perfect. But by the time you’re trapped and sweating in the relentless Greek sun, burning to escape the tension all around you – by the time you start to realise that, however painful the truth might be, it’s the lies that cause the real damage…
After You Die
DS Ferreira is back on the force after being severely injured in the line of duty. The first case to land on her desk takes her and DI Zigic to a brutal crime scene where a woman has been stabbed to death and her disabled daughter left to starve upstairs. The murdered woman is Dawn Prentice – a woman who had come to Ferreira for help when she and her daughter were being subjected to harassment. As Ferreira battles her demons and Zigic clashes with another officer, the detectives realise that the Prentice case rests on one crucial question – who was the real target of the killer: mother or daughter?
Catherine Standish knows that chance encounters never happen to spooks. She’s worked in the Intelligence Service long enough to understand treachery, double-dealing and stabbing in the back. What she doesn’t know is why anyone would target her: a recovering drunk pushing paper with the other lost causes in Jackson Lamb’s kingdom of exiles at Slough House. Whoever it is holding her hostage, it can’t be personal. It must be about Slough House. Most likely, it is about Jackson Lamb.And say what you like about Lamb, he’ll never leave a Joe in the lurch. He might even be someone you could trust with your life.
Out Of Bounds
Karen Pirie finds herself irresistibly drawn to another mystery that she has no business investigating… When a teenage joyrider crashes a stolen car and ends up in a coma, a routine DNA test reveals a connection to an unsolved murder from twenty-two years before. Finding the answer to the cold case should be straightforward. But it’s as twisted as the DNA helix itself. Meanwhile, Karen Pirie finds herself irresistibly drawn to another mystery that she has no business investigating, a mystery that has its roots in a terrorist bombing two decades ago. And again, she finds that nothing is as it seems…
Did she do it? Did he deserve it? Diana Jager is clever, strong and successful, a skilled surgeon and fierce campaigner via her blog about sexism. Yet it takes only hours for her life to crumble when her personal details are released on the internet as revenge for her writing. Then she meets Peter. He’s kind, generous, and knows nothing about her past: the second chance she’s been waiting for. Within six months, they are married. Within six more, Peter is dead in a road accident, a nightmare end to their fairytale romance. But Peter’s sister Lucy doesn’t believe in fairytales, and tasks maverick reporter Jack Parlabane with discovering the dark truth behind the woman the media is calling Black Widow…
Edith Hind is gone, leaving just her coat, a smear of blood and a half-open door. Each of her friends and relatives has a version of the truth. But none quite adds up. The press grows hungrier by the day. Can DS Manon Bradshaw fend them off, before a missing persons case becomes a murder investigation?
Six outsanding books, and, who knows, one or some of them might be coming to television at some point in the future.
To cast your vote, go here.