Ian Rankin, best-selling author of the Inspector Rebus novels, has been unveiled as the chair of this year’s Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate.

The author, who has sold more than 20 million books, has been charged with pulling together a “most wanted” list of guest authors and speakers to headline the four-day event at Harrogate’s Old Swan Hotel from July 23-26.

Helen Donkin, the Harrogate International Festivals Literature Festival Manager, said: “Ian has been one of the crime writing festival’s greatest supporters and we are delighted that he has agreed to become the 2020 Programming Chair."

Since its launch in 2003, the Crime Writing Festival has become recognised as one of the biggest – and most important – celebrations of crime writing in the world.

Last year’s festival boasted a killer line up of more than 100 authors, including Harlan Coben, Jeffery Deaver and Jo Nesbo.

Northern Ireland author Steve Cavanagh won the 2019 Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award for 2019, for his book Thirteen, and a special presentation was also made to American literary giant James Patterson - who became the winner of the tenth Theakston Old Peculier Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award.

For more details about this year's festival, visit harrogateinternationalfestivals.com/