Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Shortlist for the Theakston award

Following on from the twenty strong longlist, the votes have been counted.
The six titles that are on the (all male) shortlist for the Theakston's award are:

The Dead Place - Stephen Booth
All Fun and Games Until Somebody Loses an Eye - Christopher Brookmyre
Two Way Split - Allan Guthrie
Blood and Honey - Graham Hurley
The Death Ship of Dartmouth - Michael Jecks
Cold Granite - Stuart MacBride
Not having read any of them, but based on reviews and word of mouth, I'm tipping 'Cold Granite'!

4 comments:

Auntie Knickers said...

I've just finished "The Dead Place" (the only one of the list I've read) and liked it more for the continuing development of the Cooper-Fry relationship (whatever it may eventually be) than for the mystery. However, I think "It's All Fun and Games Until Somebody Loses an Eye" should win for Best TItle.

Fiona said...

given that these shortlists are supposed to be based on public voting, i must admit i find that shortlist almost inexplicable...

(although i find it very amusing how quiet they keep the fact that the final award is decided by a panel with "public voting" taken into account! I'm sure I read tyhat somwhere...)

Maxine said...

I have read Cold Granite-- my thoughts (can't call them a review) on it were one of my very early blog posts I seem to recall. The book does not stick in my mind all that much except I found it did not live up to the hype and was good but derivative --- beta not alpha.
I have not read this particular Stephen Booth (read earlier ones and stopped as getting too formulaic) or this particular Graham Hurley, but they are both good crime fic writers I'd say, even if not the apogee of my particular taste. With Booth, I get fed up with the "will they won't they" nature of Cooper Fry over so many books. And the mysteries in themselves aren't strong enough to sustain a whole book without a bit more action elsewhere.

I, too, find it hard to credit that this list is a public voting list. Brookmyre is an aquired taste, I'd say. I have not read (or so far as I know, heard of) Guthrie or Jecks. I am not sure of the cutoff criteria, but (assuming it is limited to UK authors) what of Ian Rankin, Val McDermid (Grave Tattoo), Peter James, Joanna Hines (murder bird), Sophie Hannah (Little Face) etc, all best sellers? Oh well, maybe Rankin and McD were eliminated because they were on the shortlist last time.

Fiona said...

Yes, for an award that seems to want to be quite transparent, it's quite hard to figure out! The Sophie Hannah, as far as I know, has sold lots and lots, and to acclaim, too, whereas Jecks does anything but, and Guthrie is acclaimed but doesn't *seem* to sell in especially large numbers. (I say at this point that I've not read any of the three.) And so the shortlists don't make much sense to me. I may be placing too big an emphasis on sales equalling votes, but I don't think so... A huge seller is *obviously* going to have a much larger field of voters. (Though maybe they do some statiscal shuffling with votes and comparative sales to level the playing field?) It's hard to see how, for example, not only big sellers but those who receive a similarly positive critical popular response like the P.D. James book fail to get the shortlist while others do.

(As for Mcdermid and Rankin, neither had eligible novels this year (the field is culled from the prior year's previous paperback releases, so any published between Jan 1 and Dec 31 2006, which excludes the Hines also I think...) And, yes, it specifically limits itself to UK novels (so no translations or American novels)