Annal: 2002 Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award for Best Thriller

Results of the Dagger Award in the year 2002.

Book:The Sirius Crossing

The Sirius Crossing

John Creed

Jack Valentine has been in the intelligence game too long and it is starting to show, but he accepts one more mission. Suddenly, he has information that everybody wants and finds himself the quarry in a pitiless chase—with an old IRA friend, also in danger.

Book:The French Executioner

The French Executioner

C.C. Humphreys

It is 1536 and the expert swordsman Jean Rombaud has been brought over from France by Henry VIII to behead his wife, Anne Boleyn. But on the eve of her execution Rombaud swears a vow to the ill-fated queen—to bury her six-fingered hand, symbol of her rumoured witchery, at a sacred crossroads. Yet in a Europe ravaged by religious war, the hand of this infamous Protestant icon is so powerful a relic that many will kill for it…From a battle between slave galleys to a Black Mass in a dungeon, through the hallucinations of St Anthony’s Fire to the fortress of an apocalyptic Messiah, Jean seeks to honour his vow.

Book:Hostage: A Novel

Hostage: A Novel

Robert Crais

As the Los Angeles Times said, Robert Crais is “a crime writer operating at the top of his game.” His complex heroes and heroines, his mastery of noir atmosphere, and his brilliant, taut plots have catapulted him into the front rank of a new breed of thriller writers. Hostage proves his earlier success was no fluke. It’s an unstoppable read.

An ex-con with delusions of grandeur and his tagalong brother unwittingly team up with a psychopath one wrong word away from meltdown. When their late afternoon joyride turns into a random act of violence, they take a family hostage in the affluent bedroom community of Bristo Camino. Enter Chief of Police Jeff Talley, a stressed-out former LAPD SWAT negotiator who is hiding from his past. Plunged back into the high-pressure world that he desperately wants to forget, Talley soon learns that his nightmare has only begun.

The hostages are not who they seem, and the home contains secrets that even L.A.’s most lethal and volatile crime lord,…[more]

Book:Lime's Photograph

Lime's Photograph

Leif Davidsen, Gaye Kynoch

A spellbinding political thriller from Denmark’s finest crime writer.

Peter Lime is trained to hunt down his prey and catch them on film. But now he’s the one being hunted. Whose prey has he become? And what is it that he has that these people will kill to get? Lime is a Danish paparazzo living in Madrid. For more than 20 years, he’s stalked and captured the rich and famous on film, making vast sums of money from exposing their secrets—the more salacious the image, the bigger the fee. But lately he’s been thinking of giving it up. Then he goes on a routine assignment, snapping a Spanish minister out sailing with his mistress, and suddenly his world is turned upside down. When a fire destroys his home, Lime sets out to discover a motive and finds himself drawn into a terrifying web of international terrorism.

Book:The Master of Rain

The Master of Rain

Tom Bradby

For Richard Field, a young Englishman new to the international police force, Shanghai represents a brave new world away from the past he is trying to escape. But his naivete is quickly dashed when he is called to the scene of a brutal crime, in which a young Russian woman, Lena Orlov, has been found sadistically murdered in her bed. Field’s idealistic instincts push him to investigate the case, but his attempts are met with apathy—then menace—from his colleagues. He beings to recognize that some cases in Shanghai are intended to remain unsolved, and, in a matter of days, he glimpses the murky depths that lurk beneath a luminous city.

Field’s drive to find the murderer leads him to Lena’s neighbor, Natasha Medvedev. A stunning beauty who fled her charmed life in tsarist Russia, Natasha escaped the Revolution but landed, like many of her counterparts, in a treacherous life in Shanghai. Natasha travels in an elite circle—one that orbits, Field knows, around the city’s most feared drug lord, Lu Huang.…[more]
Book:Tango One

Tango One

Stephen Leather

An electrifying thriller that takes the reader inside the world of drug dealers, gangs, and organized crime.

In different parts of London, three recruits prepare for their first day at the Metropolitan Police training center. All three have secrets in their past that they’re eager to put behind them. But the Met has other plans for Jamie, Bunny, and Tina. They’re to join a team of undercover detectives, a secret unit involved in the long-term penetration of criminal gangs. Their target? One of the world’s major drug dealers: Den Donovan—alias “Tango One.” A man so rich and powerful that he’s virtually untouchable. But as the three recruits close in on their quarry, they’re unaware that someone is pursuing an alternative agenda. Someone who has deliberately put their lives on the line.

Book:Without Fail

Without Fail: A Jack Reacher Novel

Lee Child

With each new book, more and more join the chorus of praise for “one of the most original and daring heroes in suspense fiction” (The Providence Journal-Bulletin), Lee Child’s ex-military cop Jack Reacher.

In Without Fail, Reacher is approached by a Secret Service agent who needs a favor. “I want to hire you to assassinate the Vice President of the United States,” she asks. She is the newly appointed head of the VP’s security detail and wants Reacher to try to penetrate her team’s shield. He has the skills and the stealth, and no one knows him. How else can she be sure her protection is truly effective?

What she doesn’t tell Reacher-but what he soon discovers-is that a very determined and deadly team of assassins has just put the VP in its sights. These men have planned well, but they haven’t planned on Reacher. For only Reacher has the head and the heart to corner his prey and bring them to justice-without fail.

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