**Strictly embargoed until 00.01 GMT Thursday 5th July, 2012**
The shortlist in full:
Comments from the press release:
Chilling suspense thrillers lead the way on this year’s Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award shortlist. One of the most prestigious crime writing prizes in the country, the 2012 shortlist reflects the ever increasingly popularity of psychological and suspense-driven narratives.
In a move away from the grittier whodunits that have long dominated the crime fiction genre, this year’s shortlist is comprised of four thrillers out of six: SJ Watson’s smash hit debut Before I Go To Sleep; The Burning Soul by veteran author John Connolly; SJ Bolton’s multi-layered, page-turner Now You See Me; and Steve Mosby’s horror-tinged tale Black Flowers.
The two non-thriller titles are Where the Bodies Are Buried and The End of the Wasp Season by Chris Brookmyre and Denise Mina respectively, both of whom have based their plots on the streets of Glasgow and have focused on a police procedural style. The presence of two Scots on the list also reaffirms the consistent level of success enjoyed by crime writers north of the border.
Now in its eighth year, the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award, in partnership with Asda – who will promote the shortlisted titles in stores nationwide from today – and in association with the Daily Mirror, was created to celebrate the very best in crime writing and is open to British and Irish authors whose novels were published in paperback from 1st June 2011 to 31st May 2012.
The overall winner will be decided by a public vote and a panel of experts which this year comprises DI Tom Thorne actor David Morrissey, Festival chair Mark Billingham, Daily Mirror Literary Editor and crime novelist Henry Sutton, Asda Fiction Buyer Ruth Lewis, and Simon Theakston, Executive Director of T&R Theakston Ltd.
The public vote opens today, Thursday 5th July, and closes on Tuesday 17th July at www.theakstons.co.uk
The winner of the prize will be announced by title sponsor Simon Theakston at an award ceremony hosted by radio broadcaster and Festival regular Mark Lawson on Thursday 19th July, the opening night of the 10th Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival. The winner will receive a £3,000 cash prize as well as a handmade, engraved beer barrel provided by Theakstons brewery.