Annal: 2004 Barry Award for Best Novel

Results of the Barry Award in the year 2004.

Book:Every Secret Thing

Every Secret Thing: A Novel

Laura Lippman

On a July afternoon two little girls, banished from a birthday party, take a wrong turn onto an unfamiliar Baltimore street—and encounter an abandoned stroller with a baby inside it. Dutiful Alice Manning and unpredictable Ronnie Fuller only want to be helpful, to be good. People like children who are good, Alice thinks. But whatever the girls’ real intentions, things go horribly awry and three families are destroyed.

Seven years later Alice and Ronnie are heading home again—only separately this time, their fragile bond long shattered, their secrets still closely kept. Advised to avoid each other, they enter a world where they essentially have no past. In exchange, they are promised a fresh start, the chance to mold their own future.

That promise is broken when a child disappears, under disturbingly similar circumstances. And the adults in Alice’s…[more]

Book:A Fountain Filled with Blood

A Fountain Filled with Blood: A Reverend Clare Ferguson Mystery

Julia Spencer-Fleming

In front of him, the headlights illuminated a swath of achingly green corn, cut off from the shoulder of the road by a sagging fence of barbed wire twisted around rough posts. His door was yanked open, and he wanted to think of Paul, to think of his children, but the only thing in his head was how the fence looked like the one on the cover of Time, like the one Matthew Shepard died on, and he was going to die now too, and it was going to hurt more than anything. “C’mere, faggot,” one of them said as he was dragged from his seat. And the pain began.

In In the Bleak Midwinter, Reverend Clare Fergusson was quickly introduced to a more eventful life than she had expected after moving to the small town of Millers Kill in upstate New York. But the Episcopal priest and former Army Air Force chopper pilot proved to her flock—and to police chief Russ Van Alstyne—that she could cope with the unexpected, even with it was as dire as murder. In this new adventure for the two ill-matched friends (who are gamely resisting something beyond friendship), evidence shows that a small town can hold just as much evil as the Wicked City.

Book:The Guards

The Guards

Ken Bruen

Still stinging from his unceremonious ouster from the Garda SÌoch·na—the Guards, Ireland’s police force—and staring at the world through the smoky bottom of his beer mug, Jack Taylor is stuck in Galway with nothing to look forward to. In his sober moments Jack aspires to become Ireland’s best private investigator, not to mention its first—Irish history, full of betrayal and espionage, discourages any profession so closely related to informing. But in truth Jack is teetering on the brink of his life’s sharpest edges, his memories of the past cutting deep into his soul and his prospects for the future nonexistent.

Nonexistent, that is, until a dazzling woman walks into the bar with a strange request and a rumor about Jack’s talent for finding things. Odds are he won’t be able to climb off his barstool long enough to get involved with his radiant new client, but when he surprises himself by getting hired, Jack has little idea of what he’s getting into. …[more]

Book:Keeping Watch

Keeping Watch: A Novel

Laurie R. King

Allen Carmichael came back from Vietnam a lifetime ago—but only now was he ready to return home. For years, he’s lived on the fringes of the law, using a soldier’s skills to keep watch over those too young to defend themselves. Some consider him nothing but a kidnapper for hire—the best in the business; others call him a hero. His specialty has been rescuing children from abusive parents and escorting them to loving homes. But after twenty-five years, he is ready to take on his final case—a case that could destroy him.

The boy’s name is Jamie: He believes his father is going to kill him. Allen is convinced that the twelve-year-old is right and devises a strategy to save him. His last job done, Allen heads back to Folly Island, where he plans to settle into a quiet life. But not long after his return, a small plane piloted by the boy’s father’s crashes, leaving behind debris—but no body.…[more]

Book:Shutter Island

Shutter Island: A Novel

Dennis Lehane

Summer, 1954.

U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels has come to Shutter Island, home of Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane. Along with his partner, Chuck Aule, he sets out to find an escaped patient, a murderess named Rachel Solando, as a hurricane bears down upon them.

But nothing at Ashecliffe Hospital is what it seems. And neither is Teddy Daniels. Is he there to find a missing patient? Or has he been sent to look into rumors of Ashecliffe’s radical approach to psychiatry? An approach that may include drug experimentation, hideous surgical trials, and lethal countermoves in the shadow war against Soviet brainwashing….

Or is there another, more personal reason why he has come there? …[more]

Book:The Small Boat of Great Sorrows

The Small Boat of Great Sorrows

Dan Fesperman

Vlado Petric, former detective in war-torn Sarajevo, has left his beloved homeland to join his wife and daughter in Germany, where he scratches a meagre living among the dust of former conflicts on the building sites of the new Berlin.

Returning home one evening, he finds an enigmatic American investigator waiting for him. Calvin Pine works for the International War Crimes Tribunal, and he tells Petric that they want him to go to The Hague. It doesn’t take Petric long to accept, especially when Pine tells him who they are after: one of the men who may be responsible for the terrible massacre of Srebrenica.

What Petric doesn’t know is that he is also being used as bait for a murderer from the previous generation; a man whose activities in the Second World War make the current generation of killers look like amateurs.

As Petric travels from modern-day Germany, through the ruins of Bosnia, to the peaceful hills of southern Italy where bitter, unresolved tensions still crackle beneath the surface, the stakes become all too personal. And he soon finds that investigating the mysteries of the past can be every bit as dangerous as finding his way through the war zones of the present.

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