The Polari Prize 2013 – an update

mari hannah book

The longlist for the 2013 Polari First Book Prize was revealed earlier this year and is sponsored by the UK lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender network of the banking company Société Générale.

This was the full longlist announced earlier this year:

The January Flower by Orla Broderick (Council House Publishing)

Five To One by Chris Chalmers (Wink)
Counting Eggs by Peter Daniels (Mulfran Press)
Realisations by Andie Davidson (Bramley Press)
The Governess by Rachael Eyre (self-published ebook)
The Murder Wall by Mari Hannah (Pan Macmillan)
Tony Hogan Bought Me An Icecream Float Before He Stole My Ma by Kerry Hudson (Chatto & Windus)
The Sitar by Rebecca Idris (self-published ebook)
Catching Bullets – Memoirs of a Gay Bond Fan by Mark O’Connell (Splendid Books)
Readings from the Book of Exile by Pádraig Ó Tuama (Canterbury Press)
The Tale of Raw Head & Bloody Bones by Jack Wolf (Chatto & Windus)

It has now taken its rightful place on the shortlist! Whoo hoo hooo


Why I think The Murder Wall by Mari Hannah win the prize outright:


  1. The opening scene is gory, chilling but it is one of the most captivating I have ever read.
  2. Kate Daniels race to find the killer is shared by the reader at ever step of the way.
  3. The voice of the killer rings in your ears as your eyes both flit and linger over the words of the book.
  4. All characters matter and even those on the edge of the action are carefully swept with the detail brush.
  5. Mari Hannah combines her experience and background to write a crime novel that is unlike any other in its characters and procedural descriptions.
  6. My book trail in and around Newcastle really swept me even further into the heart of the characters mindsets and personal lives. The places were vivid in my mind even before I visited them. This is probably one of the most comprehensive book trails I have done in a while and it really brought the novel to life!
  7. Newcastle and the North East now has a perfect showcase of some of the more interesting parts of town – bar the murders of course – The Quayside, Jesmond, Exhibition Park and of course the village of Corbridge.
  8. Kate Daniels is easy to identify with  – her job and her lifestyle may not be the same as yours but she is human and we get to accompany her on a personal mission in The Murder Wall – and it’s a thrilling journey.
  9. All the characters have flaws and foibles – there are delays and frustrations in the police investigation but this just adds to the novel’s punch
  10. A strong female DI at the centre of a male dominated environment is a refreshing change in the police procedural genre – we see where Kate lives, we see where she goes for a drink – we see WHO she is – and that makes us care and her cases all the more shocking.

 Oh and one more – probably the most compelling reason I think it should win:

The novel is detailed, layered, complex and very very well written

The Murder Wall is a triumphant debut and one which immediately had me reaching for the second and indeed third installment…


I can’t wait for the fourth Kate installment. Until then, may the Murder Wall get even more of the great recognition it deserves.

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