Annal: 2002 John Creasey Memorial New Blood Dagger for a Debuting Author

Results of the Dagger Award in the year 2002.

Book:The Cutting Room

The Cutting Room

Louise Welsh

When Rilke, a dissolute and promiscuous auctioneer, comes upon a hidden collection of seemingly violent photographs, he feels compelled to unearth more about the deceased owner who coveted them. What follows is a compulsive journey of discovery, decadence, and deviousness that leads Rilke into a dark underworld of transvestite clubs, seedy bars, and porn shops. In this hidden city haunted by a host of vividly drawn characters, Rilke comes face to face with the dark desires and illicit urges that lurk behind even the most respectable facades.

Book:The 25th Hour

The 25th Hour: A Novel

David Benioff

An absorbing novel of crime, its terrifying consequences, and a bond that redefines the friendship of three restless young men.

Wall Street speculators, the Manhattan downtown club scene, Russian gangsters, immigrant neighborhoods—all the elements in the urban turf of this finely crafted contemporary crime novel wed danger with excitement and possibility. They’re the rewards that Monty Brogan, who stands at the center of the moral glare in this tale, has already lost, just as he’s lost his Corvette, and the “sway” that opened the doors of exclusive night spots and guaranteed him courtside seats at Madison Square Garden. Tomorrow Monty’s traveling by bus, to the federal prison in Otisville, for seven years. He’s afraid, and all he’d ever really wanted when he grew up was to be a fireman. …[more]

Book:The Dark Fields

The Dark Fields

Alan Glynn

Imagine a drug that made your brain function with perfect efficiency, tapping into your deepest resources of creativity and drive, releasing all the passive knowledge you’d ever accumulated. Imagine a drug that focused you so intensely you could read a stack of books in just a few hours and remember every word, learn a foreign language in the space of a quiet evening at home. Imagine a drug that allowed you to process information so quickly you could see patterns in the stock market, a drug that made you so charming you could seduce a room full of strangers in a matter of minutes, or land any job you wanted.

Eddie Spinola is on such a drug. It’s called MDT-48, and it’s success in a bottle—a designer drug that’s re-designing his life.

MDT is helping Eddie to become the kind of man he’s always dreamed of being, but as he morphs into the picture of intellectual…[more]

Book:The Emperor of Ocean Park

The Emperor of Ocean Park

Stephen L. Carter

An extraordinary fiction debut: a large, stirring novel of suspense that is, at the same time, a work of brilliantly astute social observation. The Emperor of Ocean Park is set in two privileged worlds: the upper crust African American society of the eastern seaboard—old families who summer on Martha’s Vineyard—and the inner circle of an Ivy League law school. It tells the story of a complex family with a single, seductive link to the shadowlands of crime.

The Emperor of the title, Judge Oliver Garland, has just died, suddenly. A brilliant legal mind, conservative and famously controversial, Judge Garland made more enemies than friends. Many years before, he’d earned a judge’s highest prize: a Supreme Court nomination. But in a scene of bitter humiliation, televised across the country, his nomination collapsed in scandal. The humbling defeat became a private agony, one from which he never recovered. …[more]

Book:The Water Clock

The Water Clock

Jim Kelly

In the bleak, snowbound landscape of the Cambridgeshire Fens, a man’s mutilated body is discovered in a block of ice. High up on Ely Cathedral a second body is discovered, grotesquely riding an ancient stone gargoyle. The decaying corpse, it seems, has been there for more than thirty years.

Philip Dryden, lead reporter for the local newspaper The Crow, knows he’s onto a great story when forensic evidence links both victims to one terrifying crime in 1966. But the story also offers Dryden the key to a very personal mystery. Who saved his life after a car crash one foggy night two years ago—and who left his wife, Laura, in a ditch to die? As he continues his painful visits to Laura, who has been locked in a coma ever since the accident, Dryden’s search for the truth takes on ever increasing urgency. The answers will bring him face to face with his own guilt, his own fears—and a cold and ruthless killer.

This brilliant and evocative murder mystery, which was shortlisted for Britain’s John Creasey Award for the best first crime novel of the year, marks Jim Kelly as the new master of suspense.

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