Congratulations to the 2011 CWA Dagger winners

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Last night at the Grosvenor Hotel in London, ITV3, Specsavers and the Crime Writers Association hosted the Crime Thriller Awards, an evening celebrating the increasingly popular literary genre. We received a last minute invitation but sadly could not make it down there, however our congratulations go out to the winners, whom we’ve listed below:

CWA John Creasey New Blood Dagger
This award went to SJ Watson whose book Before I Go To Sleep tells the story of a woman who forgets everything when she falls asleep each night. She writes everything down in a journal on the suggestion of her doctor, who rings her every day to remind her where the notebook is. Seeing the world from her perspective makes for an interesting read and, naturally, it turns out things aren’t quite right as the book dives into edgy, psychological thriller territory. Not only is it now an award winner, but it’s a tidy price on Kindle at £3.99. Do you remember the film Memento? This book might remind you of that a little and it has been optioned for film by Ridley Scott’s production company.

The CWA Golden Dagger 2011
Golden, to be sure, and as the name suggests this award goes to the best book in the genre as chosen by the CWA’s judges. This year’s winning work is Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter penned by Tom Franklin. Here’s a story set in the quiet town of Chabot, Mississippi and somebody has tried to kill Larry Ott, a recluse shunned in the town because he’s thought to have killed a woman he was on a date with 20 years prior. But it was never proven. A drug dealer is dead, another young woman is missing, and black cop Silas Jones is in red-neck deep solving this tense mystery.

The Ian Fleming Steel Dagger
This award is given to writers of spy thrillers or adventure stories and was won last night by Steve Hamilton for his book The Lock Artist. It has also won an Edgar, handed out by the Mystery Writers of America. In it we find a boy who miraculously survived an accident that claimed his parents. The trauma leaves him mute, but he seems to have an incredible talent for opening locks. His life progresses, and as a young man he ends up being coerced into opening safes for the mob. He might be an expert lock pick, but how can he escape the bind he’s in, and save the girl he loves?

ITV3 Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards
As you may have seen on our site, this award was being voted upon until yesterday morning when polling ended. It goes to the top author as elected by crime fiction lovers. Up for the award were Mark Billingham, Lee Child, Peter James, David Baldacci and Peter Robinson. And the winner was Peter James for his book Dead Man’s Grip. In this well-paced and clever story, a detective becomes involved after a young woman is traumatised in a traffic accident in which a student is killed. Other drivers involved are turning up dead and Roy Grace must get to the killer. If you’ve not read it and are tempted now it’s won this people’s choice award, it’s a very tidy snip at just £2.79 on Kindle.

Very big congratulations go out to all the winners from Crime Fiction Lover. We look forward to covering your future releases. We would also love to know what your favourite crime book of the last 12 months has been. Watch for a special give-away on our site soon when we pose just that question.


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