Annal: 2006 Hammett Prize for Crime-Writing

Results of the Hammett Prize in the year 2006.

Book:The Prisoner of Guantánamo

The Prisoner of Guantánamo: A Novel

Dan Fesperman

Revere Falk—FBI veteran, Arabic speaker—is an interrogator at “Gitmo,” assigned to a “hold-out,” a Yemeni prisoner who may have valuable information about al-Qaeda. But these duties are temporarily suspended when the body of an American soldier is found washed ashore in Cuban territory. No American has ever turned up dead on the wrong side of the fence before. Suddenly, Cold War tension is back, and Falk finds himself at the heart of it when he’s put in charge of the investigation into the death. Almost immediately he senses an unusual level of interest in the proceedings: from his commander, from the Cubans, and from the various factions of the military. And when the Defense Intelligence Agency unexpectedly sends its own team to “reinforce” the investigation, Falk understands that there is much more at play than anybody is willing to admit. He is drawn into a game of evasion and pursuit, a game whose stakes spike dangerously when a figure from his past reappears—someone who knows secrets about…[more]

Book:The Crimes of Jordan Wise

The Crimes of Jordan Wise: A Novel

Bill Pronzini

Jordan Wise is a mild-mannered accountant with a large San Francisco engineering firm in the late 1970s. By his own admission, the first thirty-four years of his life were dull, empty. But that all changes when he meets and falls in love with Annalise Bonner, an ambitious young woman who craves excitement, a life on the edge.

With her as the catalyst, Wise concocts and executes a meticulous plan to steal more than half a million dollars from his firm. They escape to the Virgin Islands, but their plans to live a life of quiet luxury are beset by unexpected pitfalls—and Wise is forced to carry out two more ingenious schemes as a result. All three of his crimes are perfect—or are they?

The Crimes Of Jordan Wise is a classic tale of love, greed, betrayal, and violence told with Bill Pronzini’s characteristic twists and turns and his special brand of suspense. It is also a powerful psychological examination of a man, a woman, and the wages of sin.

Book:Dark Companion

Dark Companion

Jim Nisbet

Book:Four Kinds of Rain

Four Kinds of Rain: A Novel

Robert Ward

Broke, recently divorced, and a total deadbeat, Bob Wells has spent his life as a psychiatrist only doing good in the world. When one of his patients with clear paranoid delusions starts to lose a grip, Bob has no choice but to intervene. Emile Bardan is haunted by demons, and he believes that someone is trying to steal his most prized possession, the legendary Mask of Utu.

Bob thinks it’s all part of Emile’s imagination until he discovers that Emile is telling the truth and that the mask is worth millions. It’s Bob who may actually be the one losing his grip. He’s tired of helping people for nothing, tired of being treated like dirt—and while he may have met the girl of his dreams, he doesn’t want to lose her because he can’t take care of her.

There is only one thing to do: Bob is going to steal the mask himself. But doing so may mean making the biggest mistake of all—as he proceeds down a path into a dark abyss from which there is no return.

Book:Ghost Dancer

Ghost Dancer: A Thriller

John Case

From The Genesis Code to The Murder Artist, John Case has established himself as the master of unrelenting suspense. Now Case choreographs his most diabolically chilling novel to date, as the very fabric of civilization threatens to come apart in the hands of a brilliantly vengeful madman.

Photojournalist Mike Burke carried his camera into every war zone and hellhole on earth–and came back with the pictures (and battle scars) to prove it. He was flying high until, quite suddenly, he wasn’t. When Burke’s helicopter crashed and burned in Africa, he came away with his life but lost his heart to the beautiful woman who saved him. That’s when he decided it was time to stop dancing with the devil. But a wicked twist of fate puts an end to Burke’s dreams, leaving him adrift in Dublin with bittersweet memories…and no appetite for danger. But the devil isn’t done with him yet. …[more]

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