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CRIMEFEST, one of the biggest crime fiction events in Europe, have announced their shortlists for the 2022 CRIMEFEST Awards.

Returning after a two-year hiatus, Bristol-based convention CRIMEFEST is one of the highlights of the international fiction calendar. Offering more than forty panels, a gala awards dinner and interviews with some of the most popular names in crime fiction, the event boasts an informal and inclusive atmosphere for fans to come together and celebrate the genre.

One of the most hotly-contested prizes in its repertoire is the Specsavers Debut Crime Novel Award, the winner of which receives a £1,000 prize. Speaking of last year’s ceremony, moved online due to the Covid-19 pandemic, CRIMEFEST co-host Adrian Muller said: “CRIMEFEST usually takes place in May, and although we had to cancel our physical convention this year, it’s important to continue these awards. They’ve built up a strong reputation after so many years, and we are thankful to both Audible and to Specsavers for their on-going support.”

Among this year’s nominees for the Specsavers Prize are Janice Hallett’s runaway success, The Appeal (reviewed here), as well as Abigail Dean’s Sunday Times bestseller, Girl A. Hallett and Dean go up against Saima Mir, author of the darkly brilliant The Khan, a Godfather-esque thriller named the Times and Sunday Times Crime Novel of the Year for 2021. Rounding out the nominees for the £1,000 prize are Rahul Raina’s biting satire, How To Kidnap The Rich, Lana Thompson’s Depression-era thriller One Night In New York, and Debra Heska Wanbli Weiden’s Anthony Award winner, Winter Counts.

The judging panels for the awards are made up of prominent British fiction reviewers, as well as members of the School Library Association, while the Audible Sounds of Crime Award is voted for by Audible listeners. The 2022 winners will be announced at the convention Gala Awards Dinner on 14 May, 2022.

2022 CRIMEFEST Awards Nominees

Specsavers Debut Crime Novel Award

  • Abigail Dean, Girl A (HarperCollins)
  • Janice Hallett, The Appeal (Viper)
  • Saima Mir, The Khan (Point Blank)
  • Rahul Raina, How to Kidnap the Rich (Abacus)
  • Lara Thompson, One Night, New York (Virago)
  • David Heska Wanbli Weiden, Winter Counts (Simon & Schuster)

The Audible Sounds of Crime Award  

  • Lee and Andrew Child, Better Off Dead read by Jeff Harding (Penguin Random House Audio) 
  • Abigail Dean, Girl A read by Holliday Grainger (HarperFiction) 
  • Paula Hawkins, Slow Fire Burning read by Rosamund Pike (Penguin Random House Audio) 
  • Lisa Jewell, The Night She Disappeared read by Joanna Froggatt (Penguin Random House Audio) 
  • Liane Moriarty, Apples Never Fall read by Caroline Lee (Penguin Random House Audio) 
  • Richard Osman, The Man Who Died Twice read by Lesley Manville (Penguin Random House Audio) 
  • K L Slater, The Marriage read by Lucy Price-Lewis (Audible Studios / Bookouture) 
  • Karin Slaughter, False Witness read by Kathleen Early (HarperCollins) 

 The eDunnit Award 

  • Megan Abbott, The Turnout (Virago/ Little, Brown Book Group) 
  • Gianrico Carofiglio, The Measure of Time (Bitter Lemon Press) 
  • Michael Connelly, The Dark Hours (Orion Fiction) 
  • Abigail Dean, Girl A (HarperCollins) 
  • Cath Staincliffe, Running Out of Road (Constable/ Little, Brown Book Group) 
  • Andrew Taylor, The Royal Secret (HarperCollins) 

 The H R F Keating Award for the best biographical or critical book related to crime fiction  

  • Lucy Andrews, The Detective’s Companion in Crime Fiction: A Study in Sidekicks (Palgrave Macmillan) 
  • Richard Bradford, Devils, Lusts and Strange Desires: The Life of Patricia Highsmith (Bloomsbury, Caravel) 
  • James Fleming, Bond Behind the Iron Curtain (The Book Collector) 
  • Patricia Highsmith, Patricia Highsmith: Her Diaries and Notebooks (Weidenfeld & Nicolson) 
  • Carla Valentine, Murder Isn’t Easy: The Forensics of Agatha Christie (Sphere/ Little, Brown Book Group) 
  • Stephen James Walker, Hank Janson Under Cover (Telos Publishing Ltd) 

 The Last Laugh Award for the best humorous crime novel 

  • Simon Brett, An Untidy Death (Severn House) 
  • Andrea Camilleri, Riccardino (Mantle) 
  • Christopher Fowler, Bryant & May: London Bridge is Falling Down (Doubleday) 
  • Janice Hallet, The Appeal (Viper) 
  • Mick Herron, Slough House (Baskerville, John Murray Press) 
  • Antti Tuomainen, The Rabbit Factor (Orenda Books) 

 Best crime fiction novel for children (aged 8-12) 

  • Frank Cottrell-Boyce, Noah’s Gold (Macmillan Children’s Books) 
  • Maz Evans, Vi Spy: Licence to Chill (Chicken House) 
  • Anthony Horowitz, Nightshade (Walker Books) 
  • Anthony Kessel, The Five Clues (Crown House Publishing) 
  • Jennifer Killick Crater, Lake Evolution (Firefly Press) 
  • M G Leonard, Twitch (Walker Books) 
  • Alexandra Page, Wishyouwas: The Tiny Guardian of Lost Letters illustrated by Penny Neville-Lee (Bloomsbury Children’s Books) 
  • Ella Risbridger, The Secret Detectives (Nosy Crow) 

 Best crime fiction novel for young adults (aged 12-16)

  • Faridah Àbíké Íyímídé, Ace of Spades (Usborne Publishing) 
  • Angeline Boulley, Firekeeper’s Daughter (Rock the Boat) 
  • Andreina Cordani, The Girl Who … (Atom/ Little, Brown Book Group) 
  • William Hussey, The Outrage (Usborne Publishing) 
  • Holly Jackson, As Good As Dead (Electric Monkey) 
  • Patrice Lawrence, Splinters of Sunshine (Hodder Children’s Books) 
  • Jonathan Stroud, The Outlaws of Scarlett & Browne (Walker Books) 
  • C L Taylor, The Island (HQ)