Ely author Jim Kelly wins �2,000 prize for East Anglian literature

ELY author Jim Kelly has won the prestigious New Angle Prize for East Anglian Literature, for his thriller entitled “Death Watch,”

Delighted Jim says he was “flabbergasted” to take the top prize of �2,000 prize – because of the stiff competition from other local writers.

Judge Nicci Garrard summarised Jim’s book as “a baroque thriller and a psychologically compelling novel, whose labyrinthine plot reveals a terrifying darkness beneath the darkness of an East Anglian town.”

It is the second of an on-going series of novels, set in King’s Lynn and the North Norfolk coast.

After the awards ceremony at the Belstead Brook Hotel in Ipswich, Jim said: “I was amazed as most of the audience when the winner was announced.

“Crime’s long exile from the mainstream of British literary life is coming to an end, and in no small part due to awards like this.

“The structure and conventions of crime fiction allow authors more room for experimentation and style than so-called literary novels.

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“Awards like this are a reminder that we – crime authors – should try harder to reach beyond our core audience.”

The runner up, awarded a prize of �500, was Ronald Blyth’s latest work, “Aftermath”, described by judges as “a fitting testimony to a life well-lived and beautifully narrated.”

Others shortlisted were The Aldeburgh Scallop by Maggi Hambling, The Last Weekend by Blake Morrison; The Wake by Jeremy Page and A Flora of Suffolk by M N Sanford and RJ Fisk.

The Angle Prize is awarded every two years, and is organised by The Ipswich Institute, an independent charity offering education courses, talks and visits.

Jim lives in Ely with his author wife Midge Gillis, whose non-fiction work includes The Barbed Wire University, telling of life in Paw camps in the Second World War.

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