The Less Dead Denise Mina Shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award

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For a major literary prize, Scottish crime writer Denise Mina has been shortlisted.

Inspired by the murders of sex workers in Glasgow in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Glasgow-based author is in the running for the Costa Novel Award for “The Less Dead,”

The judges described the novel as “a beautifully crafted, richly plotted book that comes in the guise of a thriller, but is actually about humanity. The book has already won the McIlvanney Prize and the Gordon Burn Prize for Scottish Crime Book of the Year.”

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Between 1991 and 2005, eight women were murdered in the Glasgow area, including Emma Caldwell, whose investigation into the murder was reopened by prosecutors. Only one resulted in a conviction, despite high-profile inquiries at the time of the murders.

The author said in a recent interview, “Many of the cases are cold cases because eyewitnesses have not come forward.”

“The last victim was from a really nice family, and they went on Crimewatch and people really cared, but the other cases weren’t treated that way,” he said.

“It’s a broader societal value system about how to prioritize victims.”

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The East Kilbride-born author was recently featured with comedian Frank Skinner in a Sky Arts documentary about the Highlands, in which the two re-enact Boswell and Johnson’s 1773 tour of the Highlands.

She was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Crime Writers’ Association in 2014.

The Costa Book Awards are the only big British book award solely available to writers living in Ireland and the United Kingdom. There were 708 entries this year, more in a single year than ever before.

On January 4, 2021, the winners will be announced.

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