The McIlvanney Prize
The McIlvanney Prize is Bloody Scotland’s annual prize awarded to the best Scottish Crime book of the year. It provides Scottish crime writing with recognition and aims to raise the profile and prestige of the genre as a whole. Scottish roots are a must for competition applications: authors must either be born in Scotland, live there or set their books there. Crime fiction, non-fiction and anthologies of short crime stories are all eligible. The prize was renamed in memory of William McIlvanney, often described as the Godfather of Tartan Noir, in 2016.
Denise Mina is the winner of the 2017 McIlvanney Prize!
Lee Randall, chair of the judges said:
‘The Long Drop by Denise Mina transports us back to dark, grimy Glasgow, telling the social history of a particular strata of society via the grubby, smokey pubs favoured by crooks and chancers. She takes us into the courtroom, as well, where Manuel acted as his own lawyer, and where hoards of women flocked daily, to watch the drama play out.
Full of astute psychological observations, this novel’s not only about what happened in the 1950s, but about storytelling itself. It shows how legends grow wings, and how memories shape-shift and mark us.
For my money this is one of the books of 2017 — in any genre.’
Buy The Long Drop
Val McDermid – Out of Bounds (Little, Brown)
‘The Queen of Scottish crime adds yet more jewels to her crown with Out of Bounds and shows us why she’s writing at the very top of her game…Karen Pirie is one of the most engaging and charismatic of all the fictional Scottish Detectives’
Denise Mina – The Long Drop (Random House)
‘This elegantly written novel confirms Denise Mina’s stature among the great Scottish crime writers…The Long Drop transports you to the pubs, grubby back alleys and courtrooms at the heart of this unsavoury chapter of Scottish history’
Craig Russell – The Quiet Death of Thomas Quaid (Quercus)
‘The Quiet Death of Thomas Quaid is an assured riff on a classic noir caper which reveals Glasgow in all its gritty and compelling glory…The writing is as stylish as Lennox’s bespoke suits’
Craig Robertson – Murderabilia (Simon & Schuster)
‘An intriguing premise in a contemporary setting which tiptoes along the darker edges of crime fiction with an unusual detective at its heart…Murderabilia is a terrific addition to this inventive series’
Jay Stringer – How to Kill Friends and Implicate People (Thomas & Mercer)
‘This unexpected and explosive novel proves that Jay Stringer has reached the major league of Scottish crime fiction…The prose in How to Kill Friends and Implicate People crackles like a roaring campfire and you find yourself rooting for the unlikeliest of heroes’
Lin Anderson – None But the Dead
Chris Brookmyre – Want You Gone
Ann Cleeves – Cold Earth
Helen Fields – Perfect Remains
Val McDermid – Out of Bounds
Claire MacLeary – Cross Purpose
Denise Mina – The Long Drop
Owen Mullen – Games People Play
Ian Rankin – Rather Be the Devil
Craig Robertson – Murderabilia
Craig Russell – The Quiet Death of Thomas Quaid
Jay Stringer – How to Kill Friends & Implicate People
‘I am absolutely delighted to be on the judging panel for the McIlvanney Prize this year. I’m an avid fan of Scottish Crime fiction and this is less a chore and more a dream come true. I can’t wait to get stuck in, reading the wonderful books produced this year.’
‘William McIlvanney raised the crime writing bar for Scottish writers and those further afield. It’s an absolute honour to be a judge for this year’s McIlvanney Prize, which celebrates his outstanding legacy – as evidenced by the strength and quality of modern Scottish crime writing. I’m looking forward to some excellent reading and vigorous debate with my fellow judges.’
Chair: Lee Randall
‘I was honoured to be asked to chair the judging panel for this year’s McIlvanney Prize. I’ve always known — and it was reinforced when I programmed this year’s first Granite Noir festival, for Aberdeen — that crime writers and their readers are a special breed.
2016 – Chris Brookmyre, Black Widow
2015 – Craig Russell, The Ghosts of Altona
2014 – Peter May, Entry Island
2013 – Malcolm Mackay, How A Gunman Says Goodbye
2012 – Charles Cumming, A Foreign Country
‘I went to Bloody Scotland and I was just knocked out….
I’ve been at literary events where a lot of people have knives
sticking out their back that they don’t know are there and
this event was so friendly, so supportive I was honestly overwhelmed.’
– William McIlvanney in 2012