Sarah Waters has emerged as the bookies' favourite to win this year's Man Booker Prize for her novel
The Night Watch
after previous front-runner David Mitchell failed to make the shortlist for the award, announced.
Waters is rated by betting firm Ladbrokes as having 6/4 odds of emerging as the winner, followed by Hisham Matar's debut effort, In The Country of Men and Kiran Desai's The Inheritance of Loss, both with 4/1 odds.
Kate Granville's The Secret River follows at 11/2, with Edward St Aubyn's Mother's Milk and M J Hyland's Carry Me Down finishing the list with 7/1 and 9/1 odds respectively.
When the 19-strong longlist for the award was released last month, David Mitchell's Black Swan Green was the favourite, after Mitchell missed out on the prize in 2004 with his Cloud Atlas.
Explaining Mitchell's absence, as well as those of several other high-profile authors, chair of the panel of judges Hermione Lee said "These were all books that had extremely strong support and books which we thought were really considerable and moving and impressive, but in the end some books are more exciting and interesting to you than others."
"Each of these novels has what we as judges were most looking for: a distinctive, original voice and audacious imagination that takes readers to undiscovered countries of the mind, a strong power of storytelling and a historical truthfulness," she added.