Entertainment & Arts

Author Denise Mina wins top crime award

Denise Mina
Image caption Mina won for her novel, Gods and Beasts

Author Denise Mina has won a prestigious crime award for the second year in a row with her 10th novel Gods and Beasts.

The Scottish writer picked up the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award in Harrogate, Yorkshire, on Thursday.

Gods and Beasts is the third novel in Mina's Alex Monroe series.

The story sees new mother Det Monroe head a murder enquiry with links to Glasgow's criminal underworld.

Mina, who has also written comics, short stories, stage plays and a graphic novel, beat competition from a shortlist that included another two-time winner Mark Billingham, Chris Ewan, Peter May, Stuart Neville and Stav Sharez.

Outstanding choice

Her winning novel was selected by a public vote and a panel of experts including bestselling authors Kate Mosse - who is also the co-founder of the Orange Prize for Fiction - and Val McDermid, chair of the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival.

Simon Theakston, executive director of T&R Theakston, described Mina as a "deserving winner" who had established herself as a "leading name" in crime fiction.

"It was a very tough decision this year as all the books on the shortlist were outstanding but I'm delighted to hand the trophy to Denise for the second time."

Ruth Rendell, who has written more than 70 books, was also honoured with the outstanding contribution to fiction award.

Image caption Rendell has written more than 70 novels

Rendell, who joins previous recipients PD James, Colin Dexter and Reginald Hill, is widely regarded as an innovator of the crime genre, under her own name and the pseudonym Barbara Vine.

The panel said the award recognised her contribution to crime and to British culture.

"It really is an honour to receive this award that's so cherished in the crime writing fraternity," said Rendell.

"It's a joy to receive recognition for a lifetime's work but don't take that as a final full stop. Writing is essential to my life, I don't know what I'd do if I didn't write."

The award, now in its ninth year, is open to British and Irish authors whose novels were published in paperback in the last year.

Mina won the award in 2012 for her novel The End of the Wasp Season.

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