Scottish crime author Ian Rankin OBE has been honoured for his outstanding contribution to crime fiction.
The 61-year-old received the Theakston Old Peculier Award during the writing festival in Harrogate.
On receiving the award Rankin said: “It’s such a privilege and an honour to receive this award, and especially to be in Harrogate to receive it in person.
“I’ve been a published writer for over thirty years but this past year has been uniquely challenging – for writers, readers and booksellers.
“It’s heartening to see the Theakston Festival rise like a phoenix.
“Books continue to provide us with that wonderful mix of food for thought and escapism. I couldn’t be prouder to be a crime writer.”
Novelist Mark Billingham was also honoured with the outstanding contribution to crime fiction award.
Novel We Begin At The End, which was written after author Chris Whitaker was mugged and stabbed, was named crime novel of the year.
The book is a crime thriller set in coastal California which follows a 13-year-old girl, who is a self-proclaimed outlaw, and a chief of police as they navigate the consequences of a murder 30 years ago.
Whitaker credits the story’s writing process with saving his life after he was attacked as a teenager.
His book saw off competition from five other shortlisted authors to win the 2021 Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year.