Irish crime writer Liz Nugent shortlisted for prestigious industry prize

Irish crime writer Liz Nugent shortlisted for prestigious industry prize

DUBLINER Liz Nugent has been shortlisted for a prestigious annual crime writers prize.

The author, who worked in film, theatre and television before becoming a full-time writer, is nominated for the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year 2024 for her 2023 novel Strange Sally Diamond.

Nugent’s four previous novels - Unravelling Oliver, Lying in Wait, Skin Deep and Our Little Cruelties - have all been bestsellers which have won her four Irish Book Awards.

She faces five other writers hoping to take the prestigious crime writing award, which is now in its 20th year, the winner of which is due to be announced next month.

Author Liz Nugent is shortlisted for her 2023 novel Strange Sally Diamond

Two former winners are in contention for the 2024 award.

The 2022 champion, Mick Herron, who is the author behind Apple TV’s hit series Slow Horses, is nominated for his spy thriller The Secret Hours.

Two times winner Mark Billingham is also shortlisted, for the first time in eight years, for The Last Dance, his first novel in a new Detective Declan Miller series set in Blackpool.

They face stiff competition from two rising crime writers, who are shortlisted for the first time.

William Hussey is in the running for this book, Killing Jericho where Traveller detective Scott Jericho must unpick a deadly mystery at a fairground before he becomes a killer’s next victim.

Jo Callaghan is shortlisted for her debut In the Blink of An Eye, where DCS Kat Frank is partnered with an AI colleague to solve a complex missing persons case.

Bestselling British author Lisa Jewell is shortlisted for her addictive domestic noir None of This is True, about a podcaster under threat from her ‘birthday twin’; while Nugent’s Strange Sally Diamond, is a character-driven murder mystery set in rural Ireland.

“Congratulations to all of the exceptional writers shortlisted for this year’s Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year,” Simon Theakston, Chairman of T&R Theakston, said today as the shortlisted was revealed.

“This year’s list is particularly exciting, with big names at the top of their game competing against impressive newcomers,” he added.

“I can’t wait to see who the public and the judges vote for and look forward to awarding the coveted beer cask trophy to the winner at the opening night ceremony.”

The winner will be revealed on the opening night of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival on Thursday, July 18.

On the same night the winner of the inaugural McDermid Debut Award for new writers will also be announced.