Veteran writer Val McDermid is among authors whose work has been shortlisted for the Crime Novel Of The Year.
Six crime writers have been selected from a longlist of 18 authors for the £3,000 Theakston Old Peculier award.
Prolific author McDermid is a previous winner of the prize, having triumphed in 2006, and has been shortlisted for her work Broken Ground, which centres on a mysterious peat bog burial.
Previous award-winner and Man Booker Prize-longlisted writer Belinda Bauer has also been named among the six contenders for her work, Snap, alongside Steve Cavanagh for Thirteen.
Mick Herron’s London Rules, Liam McIlvanney’s The Quaker, and Khurrum Rahman’s East of Hounslow have also been shortlisted.
Executive director of Theakston, Simon Theakston, said: “All shortlisted authors are deserving of the title, but there’s only one Novel Of The Year.
“The public vote will be invaluable, readers have real power, so I’d encourage everyone to make their voice heard – it’s free and simple to vote online.
“It will be fascinating to see which of these remarkable titles prevails, all are simply outstanding.”
The winner will be announced on the opening night of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival on July 18.
They will receive a £3,000 cash prize, as well as an engraved beer barrel provided by Theakston Old Peculier.
A panel of judges and a public vote will decide the winner.