Annal: 2007 Duncan Lawrie Dagger Award for Crime Novel

Results of the Dagger Award in the year 2007. Due to multiple honors from a single award, the following titles received no points in this category: Sharp Objects, Sovereign.

Book:The Broken Shore

The Broken Shore: A Novel

Peter Temple

Joe Cashin was different once. He moved easily then. He was surer and less thoughtful. But there are consequences when you’ve come so close to dying. For Cashin, they included a posting away from the world of Homicide to the quiet place on the coast where he grew up. Now all he has to do is play the country cop and walk the dogs. And sometimes think about how he was before.

Then prominent local Charles Bourgoyne is beaten and left for dead. Everything seems to point to three boys from the nearby Aboriginal community; everyone seems to want it to. But Cashin is unconvinced. And as tragedy unfolds relentlessly into tragedy, he finds himself holding onto something that might be better let go.

Book:Brother Grimm

Brother Grimm

Craig Russell

A girl’s body lies, posed, on the pale sand of a Hamburg beach, a message concealed in her hand. ‘I have been underground, and now it is time for me to return home…’

Jan Fabel, of the Hamburg murder squad, struggles to interpret the twisted imagery of a dark and brutal mind. Four days later, a man and a woman are found deep in woodland, their throats slashed deep and wide, the names ‘Hansel’ and ‘Gretel’, in the same, tiny, obsessively neat writing, rolled tight and pressed into their hands.

It becomes clear that each new crime is a grisly reference to folk stories collected almost two hundred years ago by the Brothers Grimm.

The hunt is on for a serial killer who is exploring the darkest, most fundamental fears hidden in ancient fairy tales. A predator who kills and then disappears into the shadows.

A monster we all learned to fear in childhood.

Book:The Fields of Grief

The Fields of Grief

Giles Blunt

Photographer Catherine Cardinal’s fatal fall from a high building one moonlit night is ruled an act of suicide. She has a history of depression, a note is found and her psychiatrist is not surprised. But her husband, John Cardinal, won’t accept this conclusion.

Driven by grief and guilt, he launches his own investigation, helped by his reluctant colleagues. And when vicious notes appear, taunting him for his loss, his theory that she was murdered suddenly seems to be credible.

Cardinal revisits his past, searching for a possible suspect among his previous arrests. Someone with a grudge, a person twisted enough to target his innocent wife in revenge.

But could he be looking in the wrong place? The mystery deepens when he uncovers a spate of tragic suicides, leading him to investigate a startling new possibility—one so shocking, it has never been suspected…

Book:Pegasus Descending

Pegasus Descending: A Dave Robicheaux Novel

James Lee Burke

A troubled young woman breezes into Detective Robicheaux’s hometown of New Iberia, Louisiana. She happens to be the daughter of his friend—a friend he witnessed gunned down in a bank robbery, a tragedy that forever changed Robicheaux’s life. The twists begin when Trish Klein—the only offspring of Robicheaux’s Vietnam-era buddy—starts passing marked hundred-dollar bills in local casinos. Is she a good kid gone bad? A victim’s child seeking revenge? A promiscuous beauty seducing everyone good within her grasp? And can Robicheaux make peace with his friend’s murder in time to figure out how a local mobster fits into all the schemes and death? Will his life be whole again when it has been shattered by so much tragedy?

Book:Sharp Objects

Sharp Objects: A Novel

Gillian Flynn

Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, Camille’s Preaker’s first assignment from the second-rate daily paper where she works brings her reluctantly back to her hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. As Camille works to uncover the truth about these violent crimes, she finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Clues keep leading to dead ends, forcing Camille to unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past to get at the story. Dogged by her own demons, Camille will have to confront what happened to her years before if she wants to survive this homecoming.

Book:Sovereign

Sovereign

C.J. Sansom

Autumn, 1541. Following the uncovering of a plot against his throne in Yorkshire, King Henry VIII has set out on a spectacular Progress to the North to overawe his rebellious subjects there. Accompanied by a thousand soldiers, the cream of the nobility, and his fifth wife Catherine Howard, the King is to attend an extravagant submission of the local gentry at York.

Already in the city are lawyer Matthew Shardlake and his assistant Jack Barak. As well as assisting with legal work processing petitions to the King, Shardlake has reluctantly undertaken a special mission – to ensure the welfare of an important but dangerous conspirator being returned to London for interrogation.

But the murder of a local glazier involves Shardlake in deeper mysteries, connected not only to the prisoner in York Castle but to the royal family itself. As the Great Progress arrives in the city, Shardlake and Barak stumble upon a cache of secret papers that holds danger for the King’s throne, and a chain of events unfolds that will lead Shardlake facing the most terrifying fate of the age.

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