26.05.09 Graeme Neill reporting in The Bookseller
The three books are Blackmoor by Edward Hogan (Simon & Schuster), A Girl Made of Dust by Nathalie Abi-Ezzi (Fourth Estate) and The Rescue Man by Anthony Quinn (Jonathan Cape).
Candida Lycett Green, on behalf of the judges, said: "We have been both entertained and inspired by the quality of writing amongst the contenders for this year's shortlist and it was very difficult to decide on a final three. The result is a shortlist of three haunting books, all gripping in different ways while dealing with the complications of love and life in extremis. Together they are a celebration of new writing of which Desmond Elliott would be proud."
Green is joined by Suzi Feay, former literary editor of the Independent on Sunday and Waterstone's Rodney Troubridge.
The inaugural prize was won by Nikita Lalwani in 2008 for her novel, Gifted. The winner of the 2009 Desmond Elliott Prize will be announced on Wednesday 24 June at Fortnum & Mason in London
The prize was established in honour of publisher and literary agent Desmond Elliott who died in August 2003. He stipulated that his estate should be invested in a charitable trust that would fund a literary award "to enrich the careers of new writers".