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31 May 2016, 08:11
JK Rowling's alter ego Robert Galbraith has been shortlisted for a crime-writing prize.
Harry Potter author Rowling, who writes crime novels under the male pseudonym, has been nominated for Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year for her work Career Of Evil.
The book is the third novel in the Cormoran Strike series, which is being adapted for a new BBC television series. Strike is an injured war veteran turned private investigator working in contemporary London.
Rowling will compete against former TV documentary maker Renee Knight for her debut Disclaimer and former police officer Clare Mackintosh for her first thriller I Let You Go.
Also nominated is previous winner Mark Billingham, who is shortlisted for his 13th offering in the Tom Thorne series, Time Of Death. Billingham won the prize in 2005 and 2009.
Tell No Tales by Eva Dolan, about murdered migrant workers, also received a nod alongside Rain Dogs by Adrian McKinty, the fifth in the Sean Duffy thriller series, which is set in Belfast in the 1980s.
Author Val McDermid will be presented with the outstanding contribution to crime fiction award at a ceremony on July 21 on the opening night of the 14th Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate.
Judge Simon Theakston said: "As a writer, she is rightfully known as the Queen of Crime. Val is very deserving of this accolade in the pantheon of legendary crime authors.''
The 12th Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year award is open to crime authors whose novels were published in paperback from May 1 2015 to April 18 2016.
The winner will receive a £3,000 cash prize as well as a handmade, engraved oak beer cask made by Theakston Old Peculier.
Gemma Rowland, from Harrogate international festivals, said: "2016's winner will join the list of game-changing authors who have won one of the most-coveted awards over the last decade, including Denise Mina, Lee Child and Sarah Hilary.
"The public's vote is incredibly important as ultimately readers decide when it comes to judging a book's worth, so I'd encourage everyone to make their voice heard - it's free and simple to vote online.''
The winner will be decided by a panel of judges as well as a public vote. Voting opens on July 1 and closes on July 15 at www.theakstons.co.uk.