Annal: 2001 Dagger Award for Crime Novel

Results of the Dagger Award in the year 2001.

Book:Sidetracked

Sidetracked: A Kurt Wallander Mystery

Henning Mankell, Steven T. Murray

In the award-winning Sidetracked, Kurt Wallander is called to a nearby rapeseed field where a teenage girl has been loitering all day long. He arrives just in time to watch her douse herself in gasoline and set herself aflame. The next day he is called to a beach where Sweden’s former Minister of Justice has been axed to death and scalped. The murder has the obvious markings of a demented serial killer, and Wallander is frantic to find him before he strikes again. But his investigation is beset with a handful of obstacles—a department distracted by the threat of impending cutbacks and the frivolity of World Cup soccer, a tenuous long-distance relationship with a murdered policeman’s widow, and the unshakably haunting preoccupation with the young girl who set herself on fire.

Fascinating and astute, Sidetracked is a compelling mystery enhanced by keen social awareness.

Book:Forty Words for Sorrow

Forty Words for Sorrow

Giles Blunt

When four teenagers go missing in the small northern town of Algonquin Bay, the extensive police investigation comes up empty. Everyone is ready to give up except Detective John Cardinal, an all-too-human loner whose persistence only serves to get him removed from Homicide. Haunted by a criminal secret in his own past, and hounded by a special investigation into corruption on the force, Cardinal is on the brink of losing his career and his family.

Then the mutilated body of thirteen-year-old Katie Pine is pulled out of an abandoned mineshaft. And only Cardinal is willing to consider the horrific truth: that this quiet town is home to the most vicious of serial killers. With the media, the provincial police and his own department questioning his every move, Cardinal follows increasingly tenuous threads towards the unthinkable. Time isn’t only running out for him, but for another young victim, tied up in a basement wondering how and when his captors…[more]

Book:Baby Love

Baby Love: A Georgina Powers Crime Novel

Denise Danks

On the first day of December a parcel bomb explodes in London’s East End killing ‘Gecko’ Samuels, notorious womaniser and businessman, and a young journalist, who turns out to be six weeks pregnant. Georgina Powers, still holed up in her basement after a hit-and-run, is commissioned to cover the story. But she has other things on her mind. Things that keep her from going outside. Like the faceless driver of the car who knocked her down. Then a hideous accusatory list of women who have had abortions appears on a website, including the name of the murdered reporter. As Georgina sets out to find out who is behind the killings, she finds her own name on the list…

Book:Dancing with the Virgins

Dancing with the Virgins: A Constable Ben Cooper Novel

Stephen Booth

Stephen Booth, one of the most acclaimed new voices in crime fiction, takes us to a remote region of northern England where a prehistoric ring of stones, the Nine Virgins, harbors a dark legend.

With winter looming, a tenth figure soon joins the circle: the body of young cyclist Jenny Weston, whose limbs are carefully arranged in death to parody a woman dancing. Weeks earlier, another woman, Maggie Crew, was attacked nearby, her face savagely cut open. Is there a maniac on the loose, knifing women at random? Maggie may hold the answer, but she has no memory of the attack. The painful images are buried deep in her wounded psyche. It will take time and patience to convince Maggie to face the demons of her past.

But are the two crimes—Jenny’s murder and Maggie’s assault—linked by something other than geography? Was there…[more]

Book:The Ice Harvest

The Ice Harvest

Scott Phillips

Loaded guns, ladies of the night, broken neon, broken dreams. Here is a world that is immediately recognizable—through a shot glass at three A.M. This is life with rough edges, in a novel that gives you the straight goods—point blank— one cold, snowbound Christmas Eve in Kansas. One single night, defined in shadings of black and white, when everything changes…

For most, the city is closing up. For a few outsiders, this night, Christmas Eve 1979, is just beginning. Charlie Arglist is a lawyer saying goodbye to Wichita by revisiting the landscape of his used up life: the cold stare of his angry ex-wife, the empty strip clubs and bars where loneliness turns a profit, the frozen glare of ex-lovers and cops long snuggled in his deep pockets. Club owner Renata, an elegant dish in a smoky dive, dreams of financial prosperity and holds a single frame of a stolen film that could help her achieve them. And there’s Vic. He’s got a reputation, a bad temper, and a secret worth half a million dollars. Not to mention a knack for bringing people together…for the last time. Before the night is over, the decisions they face and the choices they make will irrevocably alter the course of their lives—if they can live long enough to see Christmas Day sunrise.

Book:Right as Rain

Right as Rain

George P. Pelecanos

Derek Strange is an ex-cop who now runs his own private detective agency. The mother of a young police officer killed by another cop hires him to clear up the lingering doubts surrounding her son’s death. Although Terry Quinn, the other cop, has been cleared in the official investigation, his guilt torments him. After Strange interviews him, Quinn joins the investigation, even though in part he is investigating himself and whether his own prejudices led him to pull the trigger.

Strange and Quinn seek their answers in the darkest sectors of Washington, D.C., where racism and ruthless capitalism create a lawless world. This is a brilliant and savage thriller by the writer the Washington Post has called a fresh, new, utterly hard-boiled voice

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