22 July 2021
Chris Whitaker has won the 2021 Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year for We Begin at the End.
‘I began writing this book as a form of therapy after being mugged and stabbed,’ said Chris. ‘Without doubt this story saved my life, so to win this award feels like the most wonderful, dreamlike end to a journey that has been twenty years in the making. I have read the shortlisted books, so know with some certainty that I’m not a worthy winner, but I am a grateful one, and I don’t think I’ll ever stop smiling now.’
It’s the first time Chris has been nominated for the Theakston’s award. We Begin at the End was chosen by the public vote, the Prize Academy and a panel of judges. Chris wins £3,000 and an engraved beer barrel from Theakston’s Brewery.
Northern Irish author Brian McGilloway has been given a Highly Commended award for his political thriller The Last Crossing, which explores the Troubles.
Special presentations were also made to Ian Rankin and Mark Billingham, the recipients of the Theakston Old Peculier Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award for 2020 and 2021.