Delight as novel wins New Zealand Booklovers Award

A Scots-based writer’s first historical thriller has won the New Zealand Booklovers Award for Best Adult Fiction Book 2022.

Written by Kiwi-born David Bishop, who has lived in Biggar, South Lanarkshire, for more than 20 years, City of Vengeance took the prize at the awards, which were announced last week.

Writing as D.V. Bishop, the book was released last year to critical acclaim.

In July 2017, he wrote the opening chapters for City of Vengeance while spending that month in France as a Robert Louis Stevenson Fellow, thanks to support from the Scottish Book Trust and Creative Scotland.

The judges said: ‘A stunning debut novel, D V Bishop’s City of Vengeance seamlessly blends historical fiction with crime thriller, as detective-protagonist Cesare Aldo investigates a murder in 1536 Florence and uncovers an intra-familial plot (which really happened) against the ruling Duke of Florence, a member of the ultra-powerful de’ Medici clan.

‘Storytelling centred on intrigue and betrayal doesn’t come more polished and captivating than this, and among the novel’s best features are the figure of Aldo, a redoubtable and humane lead; the unflinching depiction of a filthy, dangerous Renaissance city which diverges from the typical romantic portrayals of European sites; and the rejection of the heteronormativity common to almost all historical fiction – Bishop shows this place and era to be as diverse in human desire and commerce as anywhere in the present.’

You can read Scottish Field’s review of City of Vengeance HERE.

Its sequel, The Darkest Sin, was released earlier this month.