Clare Mackintosh wins Crime Novel of the Year award – BBC News

<figure class=”media-landscape” has-caption full-width lead”> Image copyright Sphere

Image caption Clare Mackintosh’s novel was “one of the fastest selling titles of 2015”, said organisers

A former police officer’s debut novel has won the main prize at one of the UK’s top crime-writing festivals.

Clare Mackintosh’s I Let You Go was named best crime novel at the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival.

She beat five authors, including Robert Galbraith – the crime-writing pseudonym of Harry Potter author JK Rowling.

Author Val McDermid was also honoured with an outstanding contribution to crime fiction award at the festival she helped to set up.

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Image caption Val McDermid said receiving the award was “an honour and a thrill”

McDermid, a co-founder of the festival who won its best novel award in 2006, said it was “unlike any other in its warmth and generosity”.

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The 61-year-old Scot said the outstanding contribution award meant “a huge amount”.

“This year sees the publication of my 30th novel and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate that,” she went on.

Rowling congratulated her “friend and colleague” McDermid on her “justly deserved” award and said she had “been showing us all the way for a long time now”.

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Image caption JK Rowling said McDermid had given her work as Galbrieth a “favourable review”

She added that the author’s “favourable review” of her work as Galbraith had provided “one of Robert’s proudest moments”.

“She received a thank you note in fake handwriting, only to receive one two weeks later in my real handwriting when I was unwillingly unmasked.”

Mark Billingham, another crime novel of the year nominee, called McDermid “the Queen of Crime”, adding: “Long may she reign over us”.

McDermid, he went on, had “represented this genre quite brilliantly all over the world, both in person and through her novels, which have earned her legions of fans and a place among the very greatest crime writers of all time.”


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