THE Bloody Scotland 2019 programme has been revealed and will include the likes of Ian Rankin and Lin Anderson.

The crime writing festival will take place between September 20 and 22 with a gala opening on the first day, when the winner of the McIlvanney Prize for the Scottish Crime Novel of the Year will be announced, along with the new prize for a crime fiction debut.

The winners will join one of the world’s leading thriller writers, David Baldacci, at the head of the annual torchlight procession down to the Albert Halls.

Highlights include Ian Rankin; Alexander McCall Smith; Alex Gray and Lin Anderson, interviewed by the BBC’s Janice Forsyth; Denise Mina and Louise Welsh; two married couple writing partnerships, Nicci French and Ambrose Parry; Icelandic queen of crime Yrsa Sigurdardottir; Stuart MacBride; Mark Billingham and, straight from Pointless, Richard Osman who has just signed a much publicised seven-figure deal for his first crime novel The Thursday Murder Club to be published by Viking next year.

Non-fiction highlights include Alice Vinten, police constable in the Met, appearing with Mim Skinner  with insight into the experiences of women in prison; former prison governor Dr David Wilson, soon to be on TV, and forensic scientist Professor Angela Gallop whose book details her high profile work on cases such as Damilola Taylor, Stephen Lawrence and Rachel Nickell.

Scottish crime writer Val McDermid, who helped launch the programme, said: “The secret of Bloody Scotland's success is that everyone's a winner.

“There are rewards for readers and writers alike. For the audience, there's everything from panel discussions to the most incoherent football match in the country, from the spectacle of a torchlit procession through the streets of Stirling to convivial conversations that go on long into the night.

“And for writers, there are showcases for emerging authors, opportunities to perform before a generous and well-informed audience, and the thrill of the McIlvanney Prize.

“It's a dizzying weekend of pleasure. Nobody leaves Bloody Scotland without their head birling like a peerie.”