Annal: 2003 Edgar Allan Poe Award® for Best First Novel

Results of the Edgar Allan Poe Award® in the year 2003.

Book:The Blue Edge of Midnight

The Blue Edge of Midnight

Jonathon King

Featuring ex-cop Max Freeman, The Blue Edge of Midnight marks the debut of a powerful new crime series.

Max Freeman’s old life ended on a night that will haunt him forever. The night he killed a twelve-year-old child in self-defense in a Philadelphia shootout. The night he stopped being a cop. Now he lives an existence of solitary confinement on the edge of the Florida Everglades, where he answers to no one but the demons that eat away at his conscience.

Until the night he finds the corpse of a child beside an ancient river. The night Max Freeman’s past explodes into the present.

Suddenly, Freeman is thrust into the center of the search for a killer responsible for a string of grisly slayings that is baffling both local authorities and the F.B.I. Distrusted as an outsider by the longtime residents of the Glades and pulled into…[more]

Book:Buck Fever

Buck Fever: A Blanco County Texas Novel

Ben Rehder

Blanco County, Texas: It’s the week before deer hunting season, as close to a statewide holiday you get in Texas, and the locals are getting restless. Red O’Brien and Billy Don Craddock aren’t the only good ol’ boys out at night spotlighting deer from their pickups, trying to get a jump on the hundreds of hunters that will be out come Saturday. Game Warden John Marlin has his hands full with poaching complaints coming in faster than he can write out-of-season tickets. Then a call of a different sort comes in. A man dressed up in some sort of deer costume has been shot at the Circle S ranch, and witnesses are reporting a massive wild-eyed buck deer prancing about the pasture in a lovesick frenzy.

Marlin’s seen a lot in his years, but this is wilder than he could have imagined: the man in the deer suit is a good friend, and the whacked-out whitetail isn’t exactly a stranger either. It’s the beginning of a mad, frantic weekend in Blanco…[more]

Book:High Wire

High Wire

Kam Majd

A woman stands accused but the cost to prove her innocence… may just be her life.

Captain Kate Gallagher has a plane to land and a daughter to get home to. But first, she’s got to contend with a confrontational co-pilot, blizzard conditions, and something far more treacherous–a plane contaminated with a lethal virus. When the controls refuse to respond to her commands, she’s got two choices: Turn the plane around or trust her instinct.

One day later, the world’s press is picking through the mangled remains of Flight 394 and crying pilot error. To clear her name and find out what really happened, Kate must uncover a shocking conspiracy that has already zeroed in on a new target: another plane, another deadly disaster.

With only seconds to save the 262 passengers on board, Kate Gallagher will fight her way back into the pilot’s seat and up into the air–in a life-and-death race against time, a madman, and a computer code that is wired, running, and ready to kill again….And the price for saving all those lives may be only one…hers.

Book:Open and Shut

Open and Shut: A Novel

David Rosenfelt

Attorney Andy Carpenter’s legal maneuvers are legion in and out of the courtrooms of Paterson, New Jersey. A talented lawyer who knows how to play all the cards, he is torn between mending a marriage that no longer works and growing attached to a beautiful, no-nonsense private investigator. Besides his love for sports, Andy also adores Tara, a golden retriever clearly smarter than half the lawyers who clog the courts of Passaic County.

Then one day the fun stops.

It all begins when Andy’s father, venerated ex-district attorney Nelson Carpenter, asks him to take the appeals case of Willie Miller, a young black man on death row for the murder of a white woman. Nelson himself had prosecuted Miller but refuses to disclose why he wants Andy to represent the convicted man. A few days later, Nelson drops dead in front of his son at a game…[more]

Book:Southern Latitudes

Southern Latitudes

Stephen J. Clark

Burnt-out reporter Nelson Ingram knows that in Litchfield, Alabama, not everything is as it seems-even an apparent Klan lynching. But it will take more than Nelson’s renewed sense of purpose to uncover the buried secrets of the deep South.

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