Stav Sherez has scooped a major crime-writing prize, fending off competition from the likes of celebrated novelist Val McDermid.
The British author’s 2017 novel The Intrusions was named the winner of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award at the annual ceremony.
Dubbed the “Silence of the Lambs for the internet age” by author Ian Rankin, the book has been a critical success and was named by the Guardian and the Sunday Times among their books of the year for 2017.
The Intrusions, the third book in Sherez’s series based on fictional detectives Carrigan and Miller, is based on the threats of stalking, obsession and online intimidation, sparked when a young woman’s friend is abducted.
He was presented with the award and a £3,000 cash prize at the opening night of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, on Thursday, Europe’s leading event celebrating the genre.
The winner of the prize, considered one of the most coveted crime-writing accolades in the country, was decided by a panel of judges chaired by acclaimed thriller writer Lee Child, combined with the results of a public vote.
Sherez, whose debut novel, The Devil’s Playground, was published in 2004, was previously nominated for the prize twice – for A Dark Redemption in 2013, and for Eleven Days in 2014.
McDermid’s Insidious Intent was one of the shortlisted books for the prize this year, as well as Spook Street by Mick Herron, The Long Drop by Denise Mina, A Rising Man by Abir Mukherjee, and Persons Unknown by former Guardian journalist Susie Steiner.
The six shortlisted authors were chosen from a longlist of 18 British and Irish crime novels published in paperback between May 1 2017 and April 30 2018.
The event also included a special presentation made to John Grisham, who won the ninth Theakston Old Peculier Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award.
The award has previously been won by Child, McDermid, Sara Paretsky, Lynda La Plante, Ruth Rendell, PD James, Colin Dexter and Reginald Hill.
Title sponsor and executive director of T&R Theakston, Simon Theakston, said: “We’re particularly delighted to honour John Grisham. He is truly a giant of the genre, having sold 300 million books worldwide, with nine of his novels being adapted by Hollywood.
“His appearance at the Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival marks the first time he’s visited Yorkshire, something that will be remembered in Harrogate history for many years to come.”