The novel “We Start at the End,” written after the author Chris Whitaker was robbed and stabbed, was selected as the criminal novel of the year.
The book follows a criminal thriller set on the California coast, a self-proclaimed outlaw, a 13-year-old girl, and a police chief navigating the outcome of a murder 30 years ago.
Whitaker appreciates the story-writing process for saving his life after being attacked as a teenager.
His book cut off the competition with the other five finalists to win the 2021 Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year.
The final crossroads by Northern Irish writer Brian McGilloway were highly regarded.
Elly Griffiths’ Lantern Men, Rosamundo Rapton’s Three Hours, Abil Mukelzy’s East Death, and Trevor Wood’s The Man on the Street were also nominated.
Whitaker said: “I started writing this book as a cure after being robbed or stabbed.
“No doubt this story saved my life, so winning this award feels like the most wonderful and dreamy end of a 20-year journey.
“I’ve read the finalists, so I’m pretty sure I’m not a worthy winner, but I’m grateful. I think I can’t stop smiling now. . “
Simon Theakston, Executive Director of T & R Theakston, said: ..
“Congratulations to Chris Whitaker for winning the title in his first nomination for the powerful and insightful We Begin at the End.”
Ian Rankin OBE and Mark Billingham were also rewarded for their significant contributions to the 2020 and 2021 criminal novels at Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate.
When Rankin received this award, he said: “It is a great honor to receive this award, especially directly at Harrogate.
“I’ve been a writer for over 30 years, and the past year has been a unique challenge for writers, readers, and bookstores.
“It’s encouraging to see Theakston Festival rise like a phoenix.
“The book continues to provide us with a great combination of food for thinking and escapism. I couldn’t be proud to be a criminal writer.”
Billingham added: “Needless to say, this is a great honor, assuming this is not some sort of administrative error.
“I’m just as tired of being able to join the list of Ruth Rendell, PD James, Lee Child, etc. I’m a lot of individuals who have benefited a lot, but above all. I want to say that first. ” You are the reader.
“Without them, none of it makes sense.”
2021 Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Winners Revealed
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