Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year 2020

It is our great pleasure to confirm Adrian McKinty’s The Chain as the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year 2020.

A mother discovers that her daughter has been abducted and the only way to get her back is to kidnap somebody else’s child. Boasting the kind of genius hook that classic thrillers are made of, Adrian McKinty's nerve-janglingly tense novel is a one-sitting blockbuster, perfect for fans of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train.

 

‘Adrian McKinty is a writer of astonishing talent and tenacity, and we could not be more grateful that he was persuaded to give his literary career one last shot because The Chain is a truly deserving winner.’

SIMON THEAKSTON, TITLE SPONSOR AND DIRECTOR OF T&R THEAKSTON LTD

The Shortlist

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Sharp, menacing and darkly funny, this first novel from Nigerian author Oyinkan Braithwaite is a breath of fresh air. Not just an inventive take on the serial-murder thriller, the novel is also a tender examination of sibling relationships in an oppressively patriarchal society; a story that turns the tables on the woman-as-victim trope. An addictive - and hugely satisfying - read.

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The crime novelist’s crime novelist, Helen Fitzgerald has a unique ability to combine gallows humour belly-laughs with searing, white knuckle suspense. Worst Case Scenario's twisted tale of an acerbic probation officer and a notorious wife-killer is another pitch-perfect thriller packed full of quotable lines and heart-stopping incident.

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After addressing bloody violence in small-town Australia with The Dry, Jane Harper opens up the arid landscape of the outback in her second, unbearably tense, thriller. Crackling with the oppressive heat of its scorched environment, at its heart are a trio of brothers and a mysterious disappearance with a disconcerting lack of suspects.

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If Spook Street is where spies live, Joe Country is where they go to die and as Jackson Lamb’s crew of misfit exiles emerge for the sixth time, it looks likely not all of them will return from the field. In the dead of winter, more than one character is brooding over buried bones and unfinished business. It might just be time for the chickens to come home to roost.

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Built upon a premise so simple yet so ingenious, Adrian McKinty takes the reader on a chilling journey into the darkest recesses of the human heart and asks exactly how far you would go to protect the ones you love. A stark, unputdownable standalone thriller from the author of the Detective Sean Duffy series.

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Mukherjee returns with another richly satisfying mystery, featuring English policeman Sam Wyndham and his shrewd ally, Sergeant ‘Surrender-Not’ Banerjee. Framed against the immersive backdrop of Raj-era Calcutta, this gripping tale of a spate of ritualistic killings is an intricate detective novel that is head and shoulders above the rest.

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Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year 2020 Longlist

My Sister, the Serial Killer
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Fallen Angel
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Cruel Acts
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Blue Moon
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The Long Call
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Paperback
Platform Seven
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Paperback
Smoke and Ashes
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Paperback
The Chain
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Paperback
The Whisper Man
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Paperback
Conviction
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Blood Orange
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Worst Case Scenario
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The Lost Man
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Blood & Sugar
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Joe Country
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How the Dead Speak
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Nothing Important Happened Today
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Red Snow
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Previous Prize Winners

Thirteen
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The Intrusions
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I Let You Go
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Someone Else's Skin
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Gods and Beasts
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The End of the Wasp Season
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61 Hours
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A Simple Act of Violence
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Death Message
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The Tenderness of Wolves
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The Torment of Others
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Lazybones
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