Scots crime writer Denise Mina has been shortlisted for a major literary award.

The Glasgow-based author is in the running for the Costa Novel Award for The Less Dead, which was inspired by the murders of female sex workers in Glasgow in the late 1980s and early 90s.

The judges described the novel as, ‘A richly drawn, beautifully-paced book set in the guise of a thriller, but is actually about humanity.’ The book has already been awarded the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Book of the Year and the Gordon Burn Prize.

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Eight women were killed in the Glasgow area between 1991 and 2005 including Emma Caldwell whose murder investigation has been re-opened by detectives. Despite high-profile investigations at the time of the killings, only one resulted in a conviction.

In a recent interview the author said:  "A lot of the cases are cold cases because eyewitnesses didn’t bother coming forward.

"The last victim came from a really lovely family and they went on Crimewatch and people really cared about it, but the other cases were not treated like that.

"It’s a wider societal value system about how you prioritise victims."

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The East Kilbride-born author recently featured in a Sky Arts documentary about the Highlands with comedian Frank Skinner, where the pair recreate Boswell and Johnson’s 1773 tour of the Highlands.

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

The Costa Book Awards is the only major UK book prize open solely to authors resident in the UK and Ireland and this year attracted 708 entries, the most received in one year to date.

Winners will be announced on January 4 2021.