CWA DAGGER READSDiscover and Devour 18 Brilliant Books
WHAT IS DAGGER READS?
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
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.
FIND OUT MORE AT THE BACK
CWAJOHN CREASEY (NEW BLOOD)
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.
THE SHORTLIST: WHAT OUR JUDGES SAID:
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
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
Everything I Never Told You - Celeste NgLittle, Brown Book
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
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
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.
THE SHORTLIST: WHAT OUR JUDGES SAID:
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
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
THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN by Paula HawkinsTransworld
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Mr Mercedes by Stephen KingHodder & Stoughton
THE SHORTLIST: WHAT OUR JUDGES SAID:
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
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
Life of Death by Michael RobothamLittle, Brown Book
HOW TO FIND OUT MORE?
Find the Crime Writers Association on Facebook and Twitter
Visit the Dagger Reads website
Watch out for the Dagger Reads hashtag #daggerreads
Stalk us on YouTube
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