The Daggers 2012

Who would you give a crime writing dagger to this year? Last night Grosvenor House in London hosted a dinner and awards ceremony for The Crime Writers’ Association and the ITV Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards, which saw the awarding of three of the CWA’s prestigious daggers. Here’s the full story, and once you’ve read it please post a comment telling us which crime writer you’ve enjoyed most in 2012. You could win a copy of The Bat by Jo Nesbo…

Last night, Gene Kerrigan was handed the Gold Dagger for his suspenseful thriller The Rage, which is set during today’s hard times in Dublin. Meanwhile Charles Cumming took the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for A Foreign Country, and the John Creasey New Bood Dagger went to Wiley Cash for A Land More Kind Than Home. In addition, the Specsavers Bestseller Dagger 2012 went to Kathy Reichs. Our review of her recent book Bones are Forever is one of the most popular on this website.

The Daggers often provide a good list of recommendations for crime fiction lovers, and last night’s awards are added to ones given out by The CWA back in July. Six knives were handed out then including the Diamond Dagger for Frederick Forsyth, the Ellis Peters Historical Dagger to Aly Monroe for Icelight, Andrea Camilleri’s International Dagger for The Potter’s Field, and the Non-fiction Dagger went to husband and wife team Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan for The Eleventh Day. Steve Mosby won the Dagger in the Library, Cath Staincliffe and Margaret Murphy shared the Short Story Dagger for their works, and the Debut Dagger was won by Sandy Gingras for Beached.

What we’d love to know is who you’d award a crime writing dagger to, if you were giving out the awards this year. Tell us about your favourites of 2012 below and you could win a hardback copy of The Bat by Jo Nesbo. We’ll draw the winner at 1pm on Monday 22 October.

A whole host of awards were also presented to television programmes and actors for various TV crime dramas, and you can see all the results here or watch the awards on ITV3 on 23 October. If you’re an up and coming writer, the CWA has announced the 2013 Debut Dagger competition, which opens on 1 November. Click here to find out more, and also watch for our New Talent November theme month coming up…

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  1. Michael Reply

    My bet would be on Tara French for Broken Harbour.

    With every book she writes, she strives for such an authentic voice and it is very refreshing to read a crime novel more as a literary novel without losing the pace.

  2. crimefictionlover Reply

    As a contributor to the site, I’m not eligible to win the book, but I realised after I wrote the story that it’s pretty tough to think of who I’d give a dagger to myself. Looking back over the last year, though, this is what I came up with:

    I’d give one to Jo Nesbo for the Phantom – probably the most gripping and harrowing book all round.
    For action I’d go with Adrian McKinty for Cold Cold Ground.
    And my dark-yet-quirky dagger would go to Jussi Adler-Olsen for Mercy.

    In terms of lifetime achievement, I’d be giving a dagger to James Ellroy.

  3. Marina Sofia Reply

    It was quite a tough choice this year. While I kind of agree with the TV daggers (the second series of Sherlock is brilliant), the choice becomes more agonising when faced with books.
    I liked Charles Cumming’s ‘A Foreign Country’ for the Steel Dagger, although I felt that Robert Harris’s ‘The Fear Index’ was also a strong contender.
    For the New Blood Dagger, I was keen on Tanya Byrne’s ‘Heart-Shaped Bruise’ – a very strong voice there, although perhaps the fact that it’s ‘young adult fiction’ worked against it in this instance.
    Finally, for the Bestseller Dagger, I would find it really difficult to choose between Ann Cleeves and Jo Nesbo.

  4. Greg Christie Reply

    Mercy by Jussi Adler Olsen… Absolutely fantastic read, was hooked from start to finish. We could have a great series of books on our hands.

    1. crimefictionlover Reply

      Hi Greg – Yes it was a surprise that one. Disgrace follows with more of the same, but not quite as gripping. That dry sense of humour the author has is great. Looking forward to the next one, I’m sure Penguin will be letting us know when it’s on its way.

  5. DeathDecomesHer Reply

    I’m a contributor to the site and am delighted that Kathy Reichs won a Dagger. She is a huge favourite of mine and I loved her latest release (as you can tell from my review elsewhere on CrimeFictionLover). I’m lucky enough to have an advance copy of Ian Rankin’s new Rebus book, Standing in Another Man’s Grave, and have to say that he deserves one too. A writer at the very top of his game!

  6. David Prestidge Reply

    For me, it would have to be Harry Bingham and his crazy, beautiful heroine Fiona Griffiths. I read ‘Talking To The Dead’ in a sitting and it would be my book of the year. It burnt a little white hot patch on my soul!

  7. Keith Nixon Reply

    My award would be to Tony Black, I recently discovered his Gus Dury and Rob Brennan series and I’ve raced through them, taut and gritty stuff, very well written.

    1. crimefictionlover Reply

      Scott – chosen at random from the people who commented and are not members of our team, you’ve won a hardback copy of The Bat. Congratulations. An email is on its way so we can send the book to you.

  8. eva dolan Reply

    been such a great year for crime, don’t envy the Dagger panel having to decide. would like to have seen Dan Smith’s The Child Thief nommed, and A Dark Redemption from Stav Sherez. Mari Hannah for the Creasy Dagger too – Murder Wall was a really strong debut.

  9. Lucy Conlon Reply

    Lots of great crime novels this year but I think I’d give a dagger to Linwood Barclay for his new novel Trust Your Eyes. I am pleased to see that Cath Staincliffe won a dagger.

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