Annal: 2004 Dagger Award for Crime Novel

Results of the Dagger Award in the year 2004.

Book:Blacklist

Blacklist: A V.I. Warshawski Novel

Sara Paretsky

Blacklist is a story of secrets and betrayals that stretch across four generations, but with particular resonance for today.

The secrets are many—political, social, sexual, and financial—and they all have the power to kill, as V.I. soon learns. Eager for physical action in the spirit-numbing wake of 9/11. V.I. is glad to take on a routine stake-out for her most important client, Darraugh Graham. His ninety-one-year-old mother sold the family estate when she could no longer manage it, and now that it’s standing empty, Geraldine Graham keeps a fretful eye on it from a retirement apartment across the road. When the old woman sees lights on in the middle of the night, V.I. checks it out—and finds a dead man in the ornamental pond.

A reporter, it turns out, for an African-American publication, and as far as the suburban cops seem to feel, a black criminal…[more]

Book:Flesh & Blood

Flesh & Blood: A Frank Elder Mystery

John Harvey

Retirement has not come easy for Detective Inspector Frank Elder. He’s fled west, into a solitary existence on the Cornish coast, but he can’t escape the past. He continues to be troubled by his wife’s betrayal, he worries over their teenage daughter, he’s haunted by bad dreams that lead him to the body of a sixteen-year-old girl.

Susan Blacklock would be thirty now. But fourteen years ago she disappeared, and for fourteen years the case of the missing schoolgirl with a flair for drama has gone unsolved. Not that Elder hadn’t had his suspects. In fact, he’d seen the two of them—Shane Donald and Alan McKeirnan—convicted a year later for the brutal rape and murder of another young, pretty girl whose body had been buried in a sandy grave. And now, with Shane granted an early release from prison, Elder feels compelled to return to the seaside scenes of the crime. …[more]

Book:The Lover

The Lover

Laura Wilson

Autumn, 1940, and London is in the grip of the Blitz. An unidentified female corpse is discovered in an alleyway in Soho—the fourth to have been found in a matter of weeks.

Rene is a Soho prostitute with a young son to support. She’s learnt to cope with the air-raids, but each night on the streets is a terrifying ordeal as the killer begins to pick off her friends. Lucy is a young, middle-class office worker living with her family in Clapham, struggling to make sense of things as her peaceful suburban life degenerates into chaos. Jim is a fighter pilot, handsome and much admired for his heroism in battle. The killer instinct makes him perfectly suited to the daily challenge he faces in the skies of southern England, but the strain is beginning to tell.

In ordinary circumstances, their paths might never have crossed, but in war-torn London, anything can happen. One night a bomb falls, with terrifying consequences for them all…

Book:Midnight Cab

Midnight Cab

James W. Nichol

A terrified three-year-old boy is found clinging to a wire fence at the side of a country road. His mother had whispered to him to never let go, and then she vanished. The only clue found by authorities as to the child’s identity is a photograph of two summering teenage girls and a letter presumably written from one to the other.

Sixteen years later, Walker Devereaux finds himself in Toronto to uncover the truth about his biological parents, of whom he has a dim memory. Working as a cab driver, Walker befriends Krista, a pretty, demanding, wheelchair-bound night dispatcher. Krista and Walker become fast friends, and she can’t help but involve herself with Walker’s quest to understand his shrouded identity. Soon enough, though, their off-hours sleuthing turns perilous as they become the prey of another abandoned boy who has transformed himself into the embodiment of his own desperate, violent, and sinister pathologies.

Book:Tokyo

Tokyo

Mo Hayder

Student Grey Hutchins comes to Tokyo seeking answers to what happened during the notorious Nanking Massacre in which, in one city, the Imperial Japanese Army killed up to 300,000 civilians. With its focus on 1980’s Tokyo and China in the late 1930s, and a woman who has quite a lot to prove and even more to hide, this is a literary thriller of the highest order. With its heady atmosphere of overt violence, lurking fear and sexual tension, Tokyo is a novel that takes hold of the reader and does not let go until its explosive final pages.

Book:The Torment of Others

The Torment of Others: A Novel

Val McDermid

Dr. Tony Hill and Detective Chief Inspector Carol Jordan return in the award-winning series that is the basis for the hit show on BBC America.

In a small grim room, the body of a woman is discovered, panic and pain etched in her face. The scene matches in every detail a series of murders two years ago-murders that ended when irrefutable forensic evidence secured the conviction of a deeply disturbed young man named Derek Tyler.

But there’s no way Tyler could have killed the latest victim. He’s been locked up in a mental institution since his trial, barely speaking a word. So is there a copycat?

All his years of experience tell top criminal psychologist Dr. Tony Hill that there isn’t-but that would make the murders…[more]

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