The four finalists have been announced today for the prestigious Scottish Crime Book of the Year award.
They include the multi-talented Doug Johnstone, who has a PhD in nuclear physics and moonlights as the manager and drummer for the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers, Manda Scott, who studied veterinary surgery before turning to crime writing, former McIlvanney winner Denise Mina and half a former winner in the form of Ambrose Parry – aka husband and wife writing team Chris Brookmyre and Marisa Haetzman.
The winner will be presented with The McIlvanney Prize at the opening reception of Bloody Scotland International Crime Writing Festival which takes place at the Church of the Holy Rude in Stirling on Friday, 20 September.
The prize is dedicated to the memory of William McIlvanney, who is often described as the Godfather of Tartan Noir, and was renamed to honour him in 2016.
The winning author will lead a torchlight procession – open to the public, on their way down to this event. This year’s judges are Alison Flood, books reporter for the Guardian and a former news reporter for The Bookseller, James Crawford, chair of Publishing Scotland and presenter of BBC series, Scotland from the Sky and Stuart Cosgrove, writer and broadcaster who was formerly a senior executive at Channel 4.
Previous winners include Liam McIlvanney with The Quaker in 2018, Denise Mina with The Long Drop in 2017, and Chris Brookmyre with Black Widow in 2016,
The 2019 winner will be kept under wraps until the ceremony itself.
The award recognises excellence in Scottish crime writing, includes a prize of £1000 and nationwide promotion in Waterstones.