Derry author Brian McGilloway named to long list for coveted detective writing honor

A Northern Ireland author is up for one of literature’s most coveted prizes after being named to the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year 2022 longlist.

lood Ties, by Brian McGilloway of Londonderry, will vie with some of the genre’s finest newbie authors and literary icons for UK and Ireland-wide honor. The award is now in its eighteenth year.

Brian McGilloway’s 2020 novel The Last Crossing was nominated in 2021 and was highly praised at the prestigious ceremony.

The prolific author, a former Queen’s University English student who became Head of English at St Columb’s College Derry, also wrote the critically acclaimed Inspector Benedict Devlin Mysteries and Lucy Black series.

Other nominees this year include two-time winner Mark Billingham, who won the inaugural award in 2005 and was honored again in 2009. His latest novel Rabbit Hole is one of 18 novels to make the cut.

Denise Mina will also be looking to snatch her third win for The Less Dead while Chris Brookmyre, who won the 2017 award, is once again up for grabs with The Cut

Brian McGilloway is hoping to win the prize with his novel Blood Ties, the latest installment in his Ben Devlin series.

It follows Devlin as he attempts to uncover how the blood of a long-dead murder victim ended up on the body of the man convicted of her death, more than a decade after her death.

Voting is now open to the public, with a shortlist to be announced in June and the winner revealed on the first night of Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival (July 21-24).

Simon Theakston, Executive Director of Theakston, said: “Crime fiction seems to have enduring popularity with readers, and this year’s long list is a clear indication of that. Books by iconic writers and impressive debuts demonstrate the wonderful talent working in the genre today – audiences are hard pressed to vote for a shortlist of just six!


Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel Long List, 2022

Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel Long List, 2022

“We raise a glass of Old Peculier to all of the long-listed authors and look forward to a celebratory drink with our honoree in July.”

Sharon Canavar, Managing Director of Harrogate International Festivals, added: “We are delighted to announce the 2022 Longlist, which champions the best crime fiction published in the UK and Ireland.

“With a mix of biting psychological thrillers, tense police procedurals and gripping mysteries, this year’s long list demonstrates the incredible breadth of modern crime fiction. We can’t wait to see which books the public will side with during the voting, and we look forward to revealing the winner at Theakston Old Peculiar Crime Writing Festival in July.

The long list was selected by an academy of authors, agents, publishers, critics, members of the festival’s programming committee and media partners, the Express.

The public is now invited to vote for a shortlist of six titles at

Voting closes May 26, the shortlist is announced, and voting for the winner opens June 14.

The winner will be revealed on the opening night of the festival, Thursday July 21, receiving £3,000 and a hand-engraved barrel of beer provided by T&R Theakston Ltd.

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