Belinda Bauer, the crime author up for the Booker: ‘If it’s tokenism, I don’t care’

She hadn’t read a crime novel before writing her debut at 45. Now, the author of The Snap talks risk-taking, genre snobbery and not needing to know whodunnit

Belinda Bauer heard the news that she’d been longlisted for this year’s Man Booker prize for her thriller Snap from her agent and editor, who called her together from the Harrogate crime writing festival, giggling so hard she could hardly tell what they were saying. Sworn to secrecy, she kept thinking she must have heard them wrong – she couldn’t quite believe it.

A few days later, it was official: Snap, which is inspired by the murder of a pregnant woman, Marie Wilks, on the M50 in 1988 (the real-life crime remains unsolved), had become one of the very few crime-genre novels ever to be considered for the prize. The judges described it as “an acute, stylish, intelligent novel about how ...