Annal: 2001 Barry Award for Best British Crime Novel

Results of the Barry Award in the year 2001.

Book:Black Dog (Stephen Booth)

Black Dog: A Crime Novel

Stephen Booth

It’s a long, hot summer in Northern England’s Peak District, where police helicopters darken blue skies and drown out the sound of birdsong. Fifteen-year-old Laura Vernon, smart, sexy, and the keeper of many secrets, is missing. Possibly she has run off to London. Possibly she’s dead. The police search, the wealthy parents wait by the phone. Detective Constable Ben Cooper quietly dreads the worst.

When retired miner Harry Dickinson and his black Labrador find the body lying in the woods, Harry’s strangely obstinate refusal to cooperate with the investigation raises more than a few eyebrows.

What about the parents? Graham Vernon is a man who knows all about secrets. What are he and his glamorous wife holding back? …[more]

Book:The Beach Road

The Beach Road

Sarah Diamond

To the casual eye, teenagers Jane and Beverley are opposites. Wealthy, beautiful and clever, Beverley seems to have everything while disturbed and lonely Jane has just seen her mother die in appalling circumstances, and has come to live with her grandparents in the same small town as Beverley—Underlyme in Dorset by the sea.

But Beverley’s life isn’t so perfect after all. Behind the glossy façade, it’s anything but. And when something terrible happens to her on holiday, she comes home to find there’s nobody left to turn to—except Jane herself. Initially, Beverley finds solace in Jane’s total adoration. But gradually she begins to realise there is something different, something dark about Jane. Little does she know just how different, just how dark…

Book:The Certainty of Doing Evil

The Certainty of Doing Evil

Colin Falconer

A woman is found strangled on a torture rack in the basement of her home, and DI Madeleine Fox is sent to investigate. Fox is dogged by dark visions of her own, and as the investigation continues and the body count rises, Fox learns more about the certainty of evil than she ever wanted to know.

Book:Dark Hollow

Dark Hollow: A Novel

John Connolly

Parker—still drained and raw from the murder of his family—returns to the Maine of his childhood, looking for a chance to recover. But when a young woman, Rita, is savagely killed along with her child, Parker joins the hunt for their murderer. The obvious suspect is Billy Purdue, Rita’s estranged husband. But as the death toll mounts, it becomes apparent that someone else is also hunting for Billy Purdue. The answer to the puzzle lies deep in the past: in the troubled history of Parker’s own grandfather, in the horror of a tree adorned with victims, and in the violent origins of a killer.

Dark Hollow is a masterful second novel from a young Irish writer whose storytelling skills have established him as the strongest new thriller writer since Thomas Harris. Building on the rich imagery, complex plotting, and remarkable characters of Every Dead Thing, Connolly has constructed a tale more menacing and memorable than the last.

Book:The Reaper

The Reaper

Peter Lovesey

Otis Joy is the popular and handsome young rector of St. Bartholomew’s Church in Foxford, Wiltshire, England. Soon after a pastoral visit to him by the bishop, the bishop’s body is found lying at the bottom of a quarry. In the bishop’s car are a suicide note, a copy of a racy men’s magazine and a Bible with an underlined text reading: “hath devoured thy living with harlots.” His last telephone call, the police discover, was to a Madame Swish.

Did the bishop take his own life? His death is strangely opportune. The bishop had accused Joy of embezzling church funds.

One sudden death seems to bring on another, and another, in rural Foxford. Then Otis Joy finds his soul mate.

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