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Scottish Author Peter May Receives 2012 Prix Polar International in France
Scottish author Peter May's Lewis Trilogy received another accolade in his adopted home of France this weekend when the author won the 2012 Prix Polar International at the "Festival Polar de Cognac" - France's top festival of crime writing in Cognac.
By: Peter May
In a unanimous decision by the twelve jurors, "The Lewis Man" was chosen from a shortlist of eleven books by American, Canadian, and European authors including Ian Rankin, Louise Penny and Belinda Bauer.
Bernard Bec, the festival organiser said it was "very rare" in the history of the festival for a jury to come to a unanimous decision.
The Festival Polar de Cognac is the largest crime writing festival in France and celebrates not only novels and graphic novels, but also film and TV drama. It is organised each year in the historic town of Cognac, birthplace of François Premier.
May received a bronze statuette and a crystal decanter of Otard's 50-year old top of the range "1795 Baron Otard Extra" cognac.
May was at the festival to launch the eagerly-awaited final book in his Lewis Trilogy, "Le Braconnier du Lac Perdu". Meanwhile, British readers will have to wait until January for the English language version, entitled "The Chessmen".
By a special agreement with May's French publisher, all three of May's Lewis Trilogy - "The Blackhouse", "The Lewis Man", and "The Chessmen" - have been published first in French, in France by Editions du Rouergue.
The French publisher won world rights when UK publishers initially turned down the first book in the trilogy, "The Blackhouse". It was published first in France to universal acclaim. The French newspaper "L'Humanité" described it as "a masterpiece"
This French love affair with Peter May continued through 2012 in what has been an extraordinary year for the author. Before winning the 2012 Prix Polar International at Cognac, "The Lewis Man" won Les Ancres Noires' Prix des Lecteurs at Le Havre in June, and the French Newspaper Le Telegramme's 10,000 Euro readers' prize for the best book of 2011.
The Lewis Trilogy has also taken UK readers by storm. When "The Blackhouse" was published in the UK by Quercus last year, the hardback went straight into the top twenty; the paperback went into the UK top ten in its first full week in print and spent eight weeks in the UK bestsellers' list. It was voted "Favourite Read" of "Richard and Judy Book Club" in Autumn last year, and received accolades from all the major UK reviewers.
The second book in the trilogy, "The Lewis Man", reached #4 in January this year and spent 18 weeks in the UK hardback fiction charts. It is currently #2 in the Amazon UK Kindle chart and was short-listed for the Scottish Crime Novel of the Year 2012.
Praise for The Lewis Trilogy:
"melancholy … brilliant" The Literary Review
"[May's] finest work... an impeccably written murder thriller" Daily Express
"A chilling setting for a gripping novel... impressive writing" The Times (London)
"400 pages of pitch-perfect dialogue and creepy, spine-tingling storytelling."
"A beautifully written, haunting and powerful" The Independent (Ireland)
Watch the video trailer for "The Lewis Man"