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CWA DAGGER READS Discover and Devour 18 Brilliant Books www.daggerreads.co.uk

CWA Dagger Reads

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The brochure accompanying the CWA Dagger Reads initiative 2015.

Text of CWA Dagger Reads

  • CWA DAGGER READSDiscover and Devour 18 Brilliant Books



    Every year the judges of the Crime Writers Association have the great privilege of reading hundreds of entries for our prestigious Dagger Awards Dagger Reads represent the very best of the books weve encountered.

    Through this exciting literary initiative weve given avid crime readers the chance to take a deeper look into our shortlisted books, and share their opinions and enthusiasm with our lively community. For over 50 years the Crime Writers Association Daggers have been synonymous with quality crime writing. Our judges and members are tough people to impress which means this group of authors have really stood out from the crowd.

    Winning a Dagger Award is a great honour and in 1955, just over a year after the CWA was founded, Winston Graham was presented with the first accolade when he won the Crossed Red Herring Award for The Little Walls. Since then some of the finest writers the world have taken home Daggers, and we continue to champion and showcase the very best in the crime genre.

    The Crime Writers Association awards ten Daggers every year and weve already handed out seven awards to some incredible authors for breathtakingly great books. So for 2015 Dagger Reads will focus on our remaining Daggers the CWA Goldsboro Gold, the Ian Fleming Steel and John Creasey (New Blood) Daggers.

    Three panels of judges, all experts in their field, spent over six months reading 300 books before selecting their shortlists. So the 18 Dagger Reads come highly recommended and are guaranteed to spark passionate debate.

    Delve deeper into those 18 exceptional books

    Join us to celebrate the best of the best through the Dagger Reads initiative which will run until Tuesday 29th September when the winners are announced.

    Every fortnight well focus on a different Dagger and each individual shortlisted author, which will culminate in an online book club that wed be delighted for you to be a part of. Get involved via our Facebook page which will host the book clubs. Theyll be held over three different dates so if make sure you put us in your diary.



    DAGGERThe CWA relishes the chance to showcase and promote new talent - and with this award we get to honour our pick of the best crime novel by a first time author. To qualify for the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger, the book, which can be by an author of any nationality, must have been first published in the UK in English during the judging period.


    Captured by Islamic terrorists in the Yemen, an oil engineer is compelled to investigate why the local water is poisoned. Topical, daring and socially-conscious, an assured debut set in a troubled war-torn region where the truth is always concealed behind the walls of ideology, politics and self-interest, this eco-thriller never sets a foot wrong all the way to its explosive conclusion.

    The Abrupt Physics of Dying - Paul E HardistyOrenda Books

    Set in 1970s small-town Ohio, the tender examination of the life of a Chinese-American family following the discovery of their favourite daughters body in a nearby lake. A tale of secrets, family and longing in an environment of culture clash and psychological devastation with the talent to bring tears to your eyes.

    Everything I Never Told You - Celeste NgLittle, Brown Book Group

    A powerful evocation of the rural America time has forgotten and the casualties it trails in its wake. Set in Western Montana, it follows the travails of a social worker called in when a young boy is found wandering and he has to confront his disenfranchised parents. Both harrowing and life enhancing, a towering achievement and insight into a world many of us would rather ignore.

    Fourth of July Creek by Smith HendersonRandom House/William Heinemann

    An extraordinary and moving tale of child abduction which goes in totally unpredictable directions and remains a page turner all the way through. A fairy-tale atmosphere never obscures the human tragedy and complex web of relationships at the centre of the plot and delivers a disturbing insight into mother/daughter interface and chills the soul way down to the bone.

    The Girl in the Red Coat by Kate HamerFaber and Faber

    A powerful tale of suspense for the internet age, in which an aspiring writer is stalked through her digital footprints on Twitter, Facebook and elsewhere and manipulated by an unhealthy admirer into even becoming his girlfriend. A story of obsessive love with a chilling edge and a perfectly-crafted thriller that always stays one step ahead of the reader.

    You by Caroline KepnesSimon and Schuster


    STEEL DAGGERIan Fleming said there was one essential criterion for a good thriller that one simply has to turn the pages. So thats what our judges are looking for when seeking out their winner. The Ian Fleming Steel Dagger is for the broadest definition of thriller novels, these can be set in any period and include, but are not limited to, spy fiction and/or action/adventure stories.

    Ian Fleming Publications Ltd owns and administers the literary copyright in Ian Flemings fiction and non-fiction books. The companys aim is to promote and make available all of Ian Flemings books worldwide. Ian Fleming Publications looks after the literary James Bond brand, keeping it alive through the publication of new stories based on the characters Ian created by authors such as William Boyd, Jeffery Deaver, Sebastian Faulks, Charlie Higson and Samantha Weinberg.

    Working alongside Ian Fleming Publications Ltd, The Ian Fleming Estate owns the copyright in Ian Flemings personal letters and other non-Bond writing and in some journalism. It manages the use of the Ian Fleming name and of his likeness.



    A powerful story about the horrors of lawlessness just across the US border of Mexico. The

    story, which is very soberly written, has sympathetic characters on both sides of the border from

    Jack, whose increasingly desperate search shows a touching father/daughter relationship,

    to Gonzalo Soler a Mexican cop whose search for the girls isnt stopped by the increasing

    corruption of his town.

    Missing by Sam HawkenProfile Books/Serpents Tail

    An intriguing and very snappily written thriller that focuses on relationships, specifically asking

    the question - how well can you ever really know someone? The judges felt that the character

    of Rachel was an interesting departure as the main protagonist and showed ordinary, flawed

    people tangled up in a crime. This is gripping from first to last.

    THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN by Paula HawkinsTransworld Publishers/Doubleday

    A pacey and enjoyable read set in the same fictional London as Herrons Slough House series,

    we are introduced to Tom Bettany, an ex-spook with a violent past and the desire to avenge the

    sudden death of his estranged son.

    The judges found this to be a compelling, taut, brutal thriller, told with a smart dash of wit.

    Nobody Walks by Mick HerronSoho Crime

    With a history as a writer and private investigator based in New York, you can be assured

    youre in safe hands in this gritty portrait of San Francisco lowlife.

    Hoffman writes in a spare, grimy poetic prose that never strains after effect. The plot rattles

    along and never feels contrived providing plenty of twists that surprise until the end.

    The White Van by Patrick HoffmanAtlantic Books Ltd/Grove Press

    Malcolm Mackay presents us with a grimy tale filled with complex characters of Glasgow loan

    sharks and debt collectors. Mackay is an utterly distinctive writer spearheading Glasgow Noir

    to great effect.

    The Night The Rich Men Burned by Malcolm MackayPan Macmillan/Mantle

  • The judges loved this fascinating story filled to the brim with rich and evocative period detail of

    Atlanta in 1974. Slaughter introduces us to some engaging well drawn characters and a tale

    that is dark and twisted to the very end.

    Cop Town by Karin SlaughterRandom House/Century

    Compelling from beginning to end. In this genuinely intriguing story we are presented with

    a strong cast of antiheroes none of whom are what they seem. This is an intelligent story,

    sublimely plotted to keep you guessing right to the last page with enjoyable twists and turns.

    The Kind Worth Killing by Peter SwansonFaber and Faber


    GOLD DAGGERThe Gold Dagger is, very simply, awarded to the best crime novel of the year. It was originally created in 1955, under the name of the Crossed Red Herrings Award. It was renamed the Gold Dagger in 1960 and has been awarded ever since with variations in its name depending on sponsorship

    Goldsboro Books mission is to provide signed first edition books in our central London bookshop and online; ensuring an expert, knowledgeable team and carefully curated range are at the heart of our business, delivering the best book-buying experience for every customer. Goldsboro Books aims to interest and inspire book lovers, readers and collectors and provide the finest quality signed books in the world.

    Two friends and book collectors, David Headley and Daniel Gideon, formed Goldsboro Books in 1999. Their reputation for spotting quality books early on, an expert eye on the future collectibles, along with enthusiasm and passion for bookselling excellence has grown with the business and Goldsboro Books has become a world-famous and much admired bookshop.


  • The Shut Eye, if you dont know the expression, means a genuine psychic. This book has all

    the usual virtues that weve come to associate with the work of Belinda Bauer, including excellent

    characterisation and spare prose, ensuring readers are kept on tenter-hooks throughout. As

    so often with Bauers work, a growing sense of malign horror lurks at the edge of the narrative -

    ensuring an intensity of reading experience.

    The Shut Eye by Belinda BauerTransworld Publishers/Bantam Press

    This is a fast-paced, earthy, violent and hard-core gangster tale, wrapped up in a basic love story. A modern Western-style tale oozing menace and impending doom. A one-sitting rollercoaster of a read that our judges loved. He has been called one of the greatest chroniclers of the mythical American outlaw life placing this book firmly into its setting - such an enjoyable read!

    The Rules of Wolfe by James Carlos BlakeOldcastle Books/No Exit Press

    When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. But as Strike

    investigates, it becomes clear that there is much more to Quines disappearance than his wife realises.

    Now that the secret is firmly out and we all know it is JK Rowling behind the masculine crime-writing sobriquet

    Robert Galbraith we are obliged to pay close attention to such books as The Silkworm, which is every

    bit as compelling and accomplished as its predecessor, The Cuckoos Calling; welcome back, Cormoran


    The Silkworm by Robert GalbraithLittle, Brown Book Group/Sphere

    A brutal and atmospheric novel that evokes the danger and cultural divide of the U.S./Mexican

    border. Hawkens powerful and dark writing style takes us on a journey that instils a sense of

    foreboding and doom in desperate times and amongst desperate people, uncovering truths

    that neither of them ever wanted to.

    Missing by Sam HawkenProfile Books/Serpents Tail

    King is one of the most successful writers ever and one of his particular strengths is his

    adaptability across genres. With Mr Mercedes hes brought us a really solid and thought-

    provoking detective thriller. Mr Mercedes is best described as a cat-and-mouse thriller one that

    grabs you at the beginning and doesnt let you go. It should come with a sticker on the cover

    saying No bookmark required because its basically a one-sitting read.

    Mr Mercedes by Stephen KingHodder & Stoughton


  • This magnificent book tackles awkward political issues and practically bristles at the edges. It is

    based in 1996, Houston, a city with an election looming over its immediate future.

    We were impressed with the nuance and complexity burnishing the mesmerising narrative of

    Pleasantville. It successfully tackles awkward political issues and the lengths that those with

    power are willing to go to hold onto it.

    Pleasantville by Attica LockeProfile Books/Serpents Tail

    An armed robbery, a decade ago, left four people dead and seven million dollars in stolen money

    unaccounted for. Audie Palmer is in prison for this crime and has been attacked almost daily. Why would

    a man who has put up with all of that, escape from prison the day before he was due to be released?

    When you start reading Life or Death, youll want to stay curled up in an armchair with one of the best

    thrillers youll read this year. This is a compelling and fascinating book.

    Life of Death by Michael RobothamLittle, Brown Book Group/Sphere


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