Mick Herron wins Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year 2022

Michael Connelly receives lifetime achievement award

44
Mick Herron
(L-R) Michael Connelly, Joseph Knox and Mick Herron. Photo Harrogate International Festivals

Mick Herron has been announced as the winner of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year 2022, presented by Harrogate International Festivals, for his crime novel Slough House.

The seventh installment in the bestselling series of the same name, Slough House follows a band of failed spies who have been exiled far from power but find themselves drawn to action as a populist movement hits the streets of London and a Russian spy mission inadvertently results in the death of a British citizen. This year marks Herron’s first time winning the award after five appearances in the shortlist in just six years, and follows the launch earlier this year of Apple TV’s acclaimed adaptation of his series, Slow Horses, which stars Gary Oldman and Kristin Scott Thomas. Herron receives a GBP 3,000 prize (approximately Rs 2,86,509), as well as a handmade, engraved beer barrel provided by T&R Theakston.

Mick Herron said on winning Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year, “This is the most coveted trophy in the crime writing community and I couldn’t be more thrilled to have won it.”

A record-breaking 11,313 readers voted for their winner this year among the six shortlisted authors – Elly Griffiths (The Night Hawks), Joseph Knox (True Crime Story), Laura Shepherd Robinson (Daughters of Night), Mick Herron (Slough House), Vaseem Khan (Midnight at Malabar House) and Will Dean (The Last Thing to Burn). The public vote contributed to the decision of the panel, who met the evening before the Awards Ceremony to decide the winner, and included Simon Theakston, Steph McGovern, Matt Nixson from The Express, journalist Joe Haddow, representation from Waterstones, and Sharon Canavar.

The judging panel had a tough choice ahead of them and decided to mark Joseph Knox as highly commended for his tense thriller True Crime Story, which blends fact and fiction to tell the story of a missing persons case, centered around a young student who leaves a party in her Manchester university dorm and is not seen again. Knox, who was selected by Val McDermid as a New Blood panelist in 2017, was longlisted for the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year 2018 for his thriller Sirens the following year but had never previously reached the shortlist stage. 

Joseph Knox commented on receiving this honor, “I am just completely thrilled. I came to my first Theakston Festival ten years ago when I was trying to become an author and I wouldn’t be the writer I am today without it.”

The announcement was made at The Old Swan Hotel in Harrogate, during the opening ceremony for the world’s largest crime writing festival, Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival from 21 – 24 July, which saw crime fiction icons including Kathy Reichs, Tess Gerritsen, Denise Mina, Lynda La Plante, Mark Billingham, Ann Cleeves and more take to the stage to discuss all things crime fiction at the world’s biggest celebration of the genre.

Herron and Knox were not the only writers celebrated at the ceremony, as legendary American crime author Michael Connelly received the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award in recognition of his incredible writing career, spanning three decades. Connelly is perhaps best known for his Harry Bosch and Mickey Haller series, which have sold over 80 million copies and spawned a number of hit movies and TV shows, including Netflix’s The Lincoln Lawyer and Amazon series Bosch and Bosch: Legacy.

Connelly is the latest in a line of acclaimed authors who have received the coveted award, with previous winners including Lynda La Plante, James Patterson, John Grisham, Lee Child, Val McDermid, PD James and last year’s recipient Sir Ian Rankin.

Simon Theakston, executive director of Theakston, added, “Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival has a well-earned reputation for showcasing the very best crime writing talent, and the award winners reflect these high standards perfectly. Mick Herron’s Slough House manages to combine intrigue, peril and humor in a deft exploration of international espionage, while Joseph Knox is a master of suspense with his taut tale of a missing persons investigation at a British university. And of course, last but by no means least, leading light of crime fiction Michael Connelly has gripped us all for decades with his brilliant stories, conjuring up a world of hardboiled LA detectives and shocking court cases. We are thrilled to raise a delicious glass of Theakston Old Peculier in their honor!” 

Michael Connelly said on receiving the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award, “This is an amazing honor as it covers the breadth of my work. It really means a lot to me. Many thanks to the Harrogate committee for this recognition.”

Sharon Canavar, chief executive of Harrogate International Festivals, commented, “We had an incredibly strong shortlist for the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year this year, and the judging panel and public had a tough job on their hands picking one winner. After a lot of discussion, the panel selected the wonderful Mick Herron, whose novel Slough House plunged readers back into the dangerous lives of the brigade of failed spies known as slow horses. The judges also recognized the irrepressible talent of Joseph Knox, noting him as highly commended for his first standalone novel True Crime Story.

“We are also delighted to celebrate the remarkable career of Michael Connelly, whose crime novels have kept readers on the edge of their seats for thirty years. Congratulations to Mick, Joseph and Michael, who demonstrate the incredible creativity, passion and imagination to be found in crime writing today. We couldn’t have wished for a better start to this year’s Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival!”

The Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year is run by Harrogate International Festivals sponsored by T&R Theakston, in partnership with Waterstones and the Express, and is open to full length crime novels published in paperback 1 May 2021 to 30 April 2022 by UK and Irish authors.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Indian Printer and Publisher’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

Subscribe Now

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here