Last night saw the UK’s Crime Writers’ Association celebrating its 60th anniversary, and six of its envied Dagger Awards were given out. It’s fitting that on Bastille Day, two French authors shared the International Dagger Award – Pierre Lemaitre (pictured) for Alex, and Fred Vargas for The Ghost Riders of Ordebec. The books received five and four stars respectively here on Crime Fiction Lover, and they reflect a rising dynamism in French crime fiction, with some authors adopting modes of storytelling influenced by American films and books.
The Ellis Peters Historical Dagger went to Andrew Taylor for The Scent of Death. The author won the same award a decade ago for The American Boy. Meanwhile, the Dagger in the Library Award went to Belinda Bauer, author of Blacklands, Darkside and Finders Keepers. This award is nominated by librarians up and down the country.
The Debut Dagger has seen many a new writer launch their career, and in 2013 it goes to Devon-based writer Finn Clarke for her story Call Time, which employs an interesting twist. Here, a stalker of women needs to catch a murderer so that the police don’t pin the killing on him. As previously reported here on Crime Fiction Lover, Lee Child won this year’s Diamond Dagger for his lifetime contribution to the genre, and this was awarded to him last night by previous holder Frederick Forsyth. The 2013 Non-Fiction Dagger went to Paul French for Midnight in Peking.
The awards were handed out by the British actor Gyles Brandreth. Last night’s celebration also saw the unveiling of the longlists for the Gold, Steel and John Creasey Dagger awards, which can be seen in full on the CWA’s website. Competition for these awards will be intense, with so many strong books in contention including City of Blood by MD Villiers, Stuart Neville’s Ratlines, The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter by Malcolm Mackay, Sarah Paretsky’s Breakdown and Say You’re Sorry by Michael Robotham all listed. Rage Against the Dying by Becky Masterman is on all three longlists.