The late, great William McIlvanney described Bloody Scotland, which opens this evening, as the most ‘friendly‘ and ‘supportive’ festival he had ever been to.

Bloody Scotland 2016 is dedicated in his honour and tonight his online gambling brother Hugh McIlvanney OBE reveals that the winner of the inaugural Mclvanney Prize (previously Scottish Crime Book of the Year) is Black Widow by Chris Brookmyre.

The judges – journalist, Lee Randall, award-winning librarian, Stewart Bain and former editor of The Scotsman and The Times Scotland, Magnus Linklater – described Black Widow as:

like watching Olympic diving – just when you think the plot can’t twist again, it takes a new turn. Even the twists have twists. With a theme of cyber-abuse, this shows an author taking a long running series to new heights.’

Brookmyre first came to prominence in 1996 with his debut Quite Ugly One Morning which went on to be televised with James Nesbitt of Cold Feet fame in the role of Jack Parlabane. It won the Critics’ First Blood Award for Best Crime Novel of the Year and 20 years later Black Widow has not only won The McIlvanney Prize but is shortlisted for the prestigious CWA Gold Dagger Award to be announced on 11 October.

Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon tweeted in February that her husband had bought Black Widow for her as a Valentine’s present and she stayed up until 2am to finish it.

The McIlvanney Prize recognises excellence in Scottish crime writing, includes an award of £1000 and nationwide promotion in Waterstones.

Buy Black Widow from Waterstones.