Always the blushing bridesmaid?

Yes, it's time for me to dust off the old purple crimpoline off-the-shoulder number with matching massive floral motif broach thing (that looks like a curtain manufacturer vomited all over it), while the stunning white layered number lays unloved and forlorn in the back of the wardrobe. Then I can spend the whole evening with mascara running down my cheeks, like a melting panda, while I stuff my face with stolen wedding cake.

Which is a kinda glass-is-half-empty way of saying that Broken Skin has been honoured with a shortlisting for the great Theakstons Crime Writers Novel of the Year 2009. Hurrah!

Previously I've been pipped at the post* by Allan Guthrie's TWO WAY SPLIT (2007), and Stef Penney's THE TENDERNESS OF WOLVES (2009). Damn their dark and evil hearts.

Of course this year I have a secret weapon - Broken Skin is chock-a-block full of filth, violence, and bondagy goodness. Mmm, who wouldn't want to vote for a book that features John Rickards' naked naughty parts?


OK, maybe I'm not helping my case here. Let me assure you, gentle reader, that John's genitalia only make a small appearance, and while it's unpleasant, it's over relatively quickly**. So it's nothing to give you nightmares. Even if you might never be able to look the man himself in the eye again.


Anyway, the lucky luminaries up for the TOPCNoTY this year are (in order alphabetical):

As usual, a very strong list, and there's some damn fine books on there. Though I am bitterly disappointed at the small number of bearded authors on the shortlist. Clearly this denotes prejudiced towards the clean-shaven! Boo! Hiss! And thrice more, hiss! When will the madness end?

Or something.

I think I'd find it pretty damn hard to predict a winner from the field of runners and riders, so it's going to be interesting to see the outcome.

If you're interested in exercising your democratic right to elect the best crime novel of the year, you can do it by romping over to the Festival website with your saucy computer mouse! Don't forget: every time you vote ... well, God's watching, OK?

And he has a beard.

* By which I mean 'got my arse kicked up and down the bookshelves'.
** As the government minister said to the greased-up septuagenarian prostitute.

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