Peter May with Peter Semple of Deanston Distillery

Peter May’s Entry Island has won the Deanston Scottish Crime Book of the Year Award 2014.

On receiving the award, Peter said:

‘This is the first literary award that any of my books have won in the UK, despite several short listings, and I am absolutely delighted that it is the Deanston Scottish Crime Novel of the Year. It makes me immensely proud to be honoured by my ain folk in this way, and I owe a huge thanks to those Scottish readers who have propelled me to the top of the charts with their unerring support.

I have just returned from an 18-day book tour of North America to promote the Lewis Trilogy and have frequently been asked why Scottish crime writers in particular areso successful. And I have come to the conclusion that it is all about confidence – the confidence that successful pioneers like William McIlvanney and Ian Rankin have given the rest of us to write about our home country, and the confidence inspired by the wonderful loyalty of Scottish readers and the backing of Scottish bookstores. Bloody Scotland is a manifestation of that confidence, and this prize the ultimate seal of approval. I am humbled to receive it.’

The winning book was announced last night at Bloody Scotland at a star-studded award dinner, attended by many of the crime writing community from Scotland and around the world. Bloody Scotland’s newest venue, hosted a three course dinner for 200 guests, with crime authors at every table.

The award is generously sponsored by Deanston Distillery, just a few miles from where Bloody Scotland festival takes place in Stirling, and guests at the award dinner were treated to delicious whisky cocktails and 12 year old single malt to celebrate the awards.

The chair of the judging panel Magnus Linklater praised the quality and diversity of the shortlisted titles, which he said expanded the crime genre significantly.

‘What struck us about this year’s Deanston winner was the author’s originality. The idea of what a crime novel is and can be appears to be changing, if this year’s short-list is anything to go by; we may be said to be looking at the “post-crime” novel, and Entry Island reflects that. The focus is is less about the murder, the clues, the tracking down of the perpetrator, than about the landscape against which it takes place, and the characters who become part of the narrative.

‘This is a very well-researched and constructed book set in a fully-imagined world, with skilfully drawn parallels between the historic and contemporary narratives. May’s sense of place is so intense that it almost becomes a character in itself. The judges would particularly like to praise the dual narrative, the vivid descriptions, the richly-layered prose, unflinching emotion and the interesting central character: we enjoyed reading him as he rattled about with his demons.’

Also on the judging panel were Angie Crawford, Scottish Buyer, Waterstones, and Jenny Niven, Portfolio Manager for Literature, Creative Scotland.

The other books on the shortlist, which was chosen by a panel of readers from a longlist of 49 books, were as follows:

Chris Brookmyre, Flesh Wounds

Neil Broadfoot, Falling Fast

Natalie Haynes, The Amber Fury

Louise Welsh, A Lovely Way To Burn

Nicola White, In The Rosary Garden