Clare Mackintosh has beaten off strong opposition from Adrian McKinty, Robert Galbraith and Eva Dolan to win the Theakstons Old Peculiar Crime Book of the Year. Mackintosh won the award for her top selling novel, I Let You Go, about a woman whose son is killed in a hit and run and decides to leave everything behind and disappear to Wales. Mackintosh spent 12 years in the police, latterly as a public order commander, and her book became the fastest selling crime novel by a new author in 2015.
The crime writing prize is now in its twelfth year, with previous winners including Val McDermid, Lee Child, Mark Billingham, Sarah Hilary and Denise Mina. Mackintosh, who will receive £3,000, beat off competition from a shortlist of six British and Irish authors whose novels were published in paperback between May 1 2015 and April 30 2016. At the awards ceremony, previous winner McDermid was also presented with a special prize, the Theakstons Old Peculier outstanding contribution to crime fiction award.