Annal: 2008 Edgar Allan Poe Award® for Best Paperback Original

Results of the Edgar Allan Poe Award® in the year 2008.

Book:Queenpin

Queenpin: A Novel

Megan Abbott

A young woman hired to keep the books at a down-at-the-heels nightclub is taken under the wing of the infamous Gloria Denton, a mob luminary who reigned during the Golden Era of Bugsy Siegel and Lucky Luciano. Notoriously cunning and ruthless, Gloria shows her eager young protégée the ropes, ushering her into a glittering demimonde of late-night casinos, racetracks, betting parlors, inside heists, and big, big money. Suddenly, the world is at her feet—as long as she doesn’t take any chances, like falling for the wrong guy. As the roulette wheel turns, both mentor and protégée scramble to stay one step ahead of their bosses and each other.

Book:Blood of Paradise

Blood of Paradise

David Corbett

El Salvador: America’s great Cold War success story and the model for Iraq’s fledgling democracy–if one ignores the grinding poverty, the corruption, the spiraling crime, and a murder rate ranked near the top in the hemisphere. This is where Jude McManus works as an executive protection specialist, currently assigned to an American engineer working for a U.S. consortium.

Ten years before, at age seventeen, he saw his father and two Chicago cop colleagues arrested for robbing street dealers. The family fell apart in the scandal’s wake, his disgraced dad died under suspicious circumstances, and Jude fled Chicago to join the army and forge a new life.

Now the past returns when one of his father’s old pals appears. The man is changed–he’s scarred, regretful, self-aware–and he helps Jude revisit the past with a forgiving eye. Then he asks a favor–not for himself, but for the third member…[more]

Book:Cruel Poetry

Cruel Poetry: A Novel

Vicki Hendricks

Renata is young, beautiful, and has sex for money and kicks. Few are immune to her intoxicating allure-even her pet Burmese python, Pepe, seems captive to her charm. Richard is one of her clients, a poetry professor with a wife and two sons, whose erotic fascination with Rennie is threatening his home and job.

Meanwhile, Julie, a shy wannabe novelist, spies on Rennie from her room next door in between bouts of frustrated writing. Both would do anything to save Rennie from her dangerous occupation and become her one true love.

Set in Miami’s gaudy vacationland and the haunting atmosphere of the Everglades, Cruel Poetry is a gripping story of fatal attraction that captures the Florida behind the postcards. As the lives of Richard and Julie unravel amidst drugs and murder, Hendricks amps the adrenaline jolts and sweeps us to a bittersweet climax. …[more]

Book:Robbie's Wife

Robbie's Wife: A Novel

Russell Hill

Jack Stone fled Los Angeles, a failed marriage, and a failing career as a screenwriter to spend six months in the remote English countryside, hammering out the new script that would put him back on top. But what he found wasn’t solitude and peace—it was temptation. Because Maggie Barlow, the wife of the man putting him up, had something irresistible about her. Something that could drive a man to kill…

Book:Who Is Conrad Hirst?

Who Is Conrad Hirst?: A Novel

Kevin Wignall

Who is Conrad Hirst? Knowing the answer could get you killed. Not knowing could get him killed.

Conrad Hirst is a hired killer working for a German crime boss. Disturbed by the death of his girlfriend ten years earlier and still bearing the scars of post-traumatic stress after serving as a mercenary, he’s valued precisely because of how broken he is, by how coldly he kills, by the solitary existence he leads.

But something has happened on Conrad’s most recent job that’s shattered his equilibrium and left him determined to quit. Fortunately for him, there’s a simple way to leave the business and begin life anew: Only four people know who he is and what he’s done—kill those four people, and Conrad is a free man.

A simple plan, but life is never that simple, and as Conrad’s scheme unravels, he quickly realizes he isn’t the only…[more]

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