Bloody Scotland's Alex Gray reveals New Crimes debut selection

News - Fiction Thursday, 18 April 2019

Toby Faber, Jessica Barry, Dominic Nolan and Lesley Kara are chosen for their 'superb quality of writing'


Bloody Scotland co-founder and crime writer Alex Gray has revealed her debut selections for this year's New Crimes panel. Previous selected debut authors have included Abir Mukherjee, Felicia Yap and Olga Wotjas.

On 21 September four new crime writers will be taking the stage in Stirling, all of whom Gray praises for "how well the stories stuck in my mind and, more importantly, the superb quality of writing."

The debuts, plus Gray's comments, are:

Freefall by Jessica Barry (Harvill Secker) was just one of those thrillers that creates a lasting impression long after finishing the story, a crime debut by a writer previously known for romantic fiction. Quite a leap!

Close to the Edge by Toby Faber (Muswell Press) was a story I thought I would not like, given that much of the setting is in the tunnels of the London Underground and I am horribly claustrophobic. Yet it kept me reading and I loved the setting and characters in equal measure.

Past Life by Dominic Nolan (Headline) combines police procedural with a harrowing account of one woman's amnesia, not a tale for the faint-hearted and never falling into the trap of a predictable outcome but a book that grabs you and refuses to let go till the very end.

The Rumour by Lesley Kara (Bantam Press) takes what might be considered a small thing, a mere rumour, and build it into a thrilling story. The Rumour might be compared to the recent BBC drama, The Victim, but its resemblance is pure coincidence, just showing the zeitgeist prevailing right now.

None of the above books are eligible for the new McIlvanney Prize for debut fiction - which requires authors to be born in Scotland, live in Scotland or have set their books there. Entries for the prize close at 5pm on Friday 26 April. PDFs of the book (published between 1 August 2018 and 31 July 2019) should be sent by email to Bob McDevitt, director bob@bloodyscotland.com with McIlvanney Prize Entry 2019 plus the book title in the header. The winner will be selected from the highest scoring titles in the first round and judged by the board of Bloody Scotland, including crime writers Lin Anderson, Craig Robertson, Gordon Brown and Abir Mukherjee.


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