Two titles from Vintage have landed spots on the shortlist for the second annual Staunch Book Prize.
Only To Sleep in the Philip Marlowe series by Lawrence Osborne and 15th-century literary mystery The Western Wind by Samantha Harvey were both included in the shortlist. The list also features Liar’s Candle (Simon & Schuster) by August Thomas, Honey (ECW Press) by Brenda Brooks and The Godmother (Old Street Publishing) by Hannelore Cayre.
The £1,000 award was set up in 2018 by author Bridget Lawless and aims to find the best thrillers in which no woman gets beaten, stalked, sexually exploited, raped or murdered in response to violence of women depicted in books, TV and film. Last year, the prize attracted criticism from authors Val McDermid and Sophie Hannah while CrimeFest organisers withdrew an offer of a complimentary pass and panel appearance for the winning writer. This year, organisers insist they have received “more support than ever” from readers and anti-violence campaigners.
Lawless said: “Our second year has seen another fantastic range of entries from all over the world. We’re very proud of the quality and originality of work this prize attracts. We’re committed to drawing attention to the negative impact that fictional violence can have on women’s struggle against violence in real life.”
The prize will be judged by Baroness Lola Young, academic and rape perception researcher Dr Dominic Willmott and US editor Elaine Richard and chaired by founder Lawless.
The inaugural prize was won by Australian author Jock Serong for his “extraordinary” thriller On The Java Ridge (Text Publishing).