Scottish novelist takes £3,000 award with book that judge Elly Griffith said ‘cements his place in the pantheon of great crime writers’
Chris Brookmyre’s story of cyber-abuse, sexism and murder, Black Widow, has collected its second award, after being named crime novel of the year at the Theakston Old Peculier crime writing festival on Thursday night.
The novel follows surgeon Diana Jager, who is exposed as the author of an anonymous blog about sexism in her profession.
“I’m over the moon,” said Brookmyre, whose book beat titles including Val McDermid’s Out of Bounds and Susie Steiner’s Missing, Presumed to win the £3,000 prize. The Scottish novelist has been shortlisted three times before for the award. Last autumn, Black Widow won the inaugural McIlvanney prize at the Bloody Scotland festival.
The novel follows surgeon Diana Jager, who is exposed as the author of an anonymous blog about sexism in her profession. Her life takes a turn for the better when she meets Peter, but he dies in a road accident and she finds herself on trial.
“My trial has barely begun, and no testimony heard, but already I know that in the eyes of this court, I am an abomination,” Diana narrates. “As I gaze from the dock and take in all the faces gazing back, I think of the opinions they have formed, the hateful things they have written and said. I think of how it once stung, but my skin has grown thicker over time, and I have worse things to endure now than mere words.”
by Alison Flood for The Guardian