A FORMER criminal justice social worker from Glasgow is in the running to win one of the UK’s most prestigious book awards.

Helen FitzGerald, whose novel The Cry was turned into a hit TV drama starring Jenna Coleman, has been shortlisted for the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year prize.

The south side author, making her debut on the Theakston list, has been recognised for her novel Worst Case Scenario.

Glasgow Times:

Packed with gallows humour, the book takes inspiration from FitzGerald’s time as a criminal justice social worker in Glasgow’s Barlinnie Prison, alongside her experiences with depression and going through the menopause.

The news coincides with updated lockdown reading research from Nielsen Book showing that the genre is continuing to soar in popularity, particularly amongst younger readers and men.

FitzGerald is up against Oyinkan Braithwaite, Mick Herron, Abir Mukherjee, Jane Harper and Adrian McKinty.

Read more: Glasgow author explores every parent's worst nightmare in The Cry

A public vote to help decide the winner is now open and the result will be revealed on July 23 in a virtual awards ceremony.