Annal: 2008 Barry Award for Best Novel

Results of the Barry Award in the year 2008.

Book:What the Dead Know

What the Dead Know: A Novel

Laura Lippman

Thirty years ago two sisters disappeared from a shopping mall. Their bodies were never found and those familiar with the case have always been tortured by these questions: How do you kidnap two girls? Who’or what’could have lured the two sisters away from a busy mall on a Saturday afternoon without leaving behind a single clue or witness?

Now a clearly disoriented woman involved in a rush-hour hit-and-run claims to be the younger of the long-gone Bethany sisters. But her involuntary admission and subsequent attempt to stonewall investigators only deepens the mystery. Where has she been, why has she waited so long to come forward? Could her abductor truly be a beloved Baltimore cop? There isn’t a shred of evidence to support her story, and every lead she gives the police seems to be another dead-end’a dying, incoherent man, a razed house, a missing grave, and a family that disintegrated long ago, torn apart not only by the crime but by the fissures the tragedy revealed…[more]

Book:Dirty Martini

Dirty Martini: A Jack Daniels Mystery

J.A. Konrath

Homicide Lieutenant Jacqueline “Jack” Daniels is in some serious trouble. Her boyfriend wants to get married. Her partner wants to transfer to another department. Her dead father may not be dead after all. And a brilliant sociopath known as the Chemist is poisoning Chicago’s food supply, killing hundreds of people.

Jack is put in charge of the case. But how do you catch someone who is always in disguise, who ingeniously spreads toxins in restaurants, grocery stores, and fast-food places without leaving any clues?

Time is running out. The Chemist has something big planned—something really big—and Jack has to push herself to the limits of her capabilities, or else everyone she knows and everything she holds dear will be destroyed.

In Dirty Martini, Jack faces her toughest adversary yet: a sicko who wants to murder an entire city. Can she catch him—and decide whether to accept boyfriend Latham’s surprise proposal—without destroying both her reputation and her sanity?

Book:Down River

Down River: A Novel

John Hart

Adam Chase has a violent streak, and not without reason. As a boy, he saw things that no child should see, suffered wounds that cut to the core and scarred thin. The trauma left him passionate and misunderstood—a fighter. After being narrowly acquitted of a murder charge, Adam is hounded out of the only home he’s ever known, exiled for a sin he did not commit. For five long years he disappears, fades into the faceless gray of New York City. Now he’s back and nobody knows why, not his family or the cops, not the enemies he left behind.

But Adam has his reasons.

Within hours of his return, he is beaten and accosted, confronted by his family and the women he still holds dear. No one knows what to make of Adam’s return, but when bodies start turning up, the small town rises against him and Adam again finds…[more]

Book:Red Cat

Red Cat: A John March Novel

Peter Spiegelman

David March, John’s brother, has been having affairs with anonymous women he meets on the internet. Now one of these women is stalking him. David knows her only as Wren. She, however, knows everything about David—and she’s threatening to tell his wife and colleagues, ruining his life. With his marriage, career, and reputation at stake, David asks John to find her.

What John discovers is there is more to Wren than David knows. She’s an intriguing mystery, an internet pornographer and video artist with a penchant for turning the tables on her subjects. But when she turns up dead, John finds he’s no longer searching for a stalker—now he’s looking for a murderer, and the clues keep leading him back to his older brother’s doorstep.

Book:Soul Patch

Soul Patch: A Moe Prager Mystery

Reed Farrel Coleman

In this darkly intriguing follow-up to the Shamus and Barry winning The James Deans, ex-NYPD cop turned P.I. and entrepreneur, Moe Prager is faced with a gut-wrenching case. The apparent suicide of his old friend and NYPD Chief of Detectives, Larry McDonald, forces Moe back onto the decaying Coney Island streets he patrolled when he was in uniform. But now, beneath the boardwalk and behind the rusted and crumbling rides of the midway, he finds a trail of death, betrayal, and corruption reaching back to 1972. As Faulkner once said, “The past is never dead. It isn’t even past.” So it goes for Moe Prager in Soul Patch.

Book:The Unquiet

The Unquiet: A Thriller

John Connolly

But that is the nature of revenge. It escalates. It cannot be controlled. One hurt invites another, on and on until the original injury is all but forgotten in the chaos of what follows…

John Connolly’s originality and talent for storytelling have quickly made him one of today’s preeminent thriller writers. Now, in The Unquiet, private detective Charlie Parker returns to untangle a horrifying story of betrayal, unclean desires, and murder—a story of never-ending evil whose conclusion is not yet written.

Daniel Clay, a once-respected psychiatrist, has gone missing. His daughter insists that he killed himself after allegations surfaced that he had betrayed his patients to foul and evil men—but when a killer obsessed with uncovering the truth behind his own daughter’s disappearance comes seeking revenge, long-forgotten secrets begin to emerge. Hired by Dr. Clay’s daughter…[more]

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