Annal: 2008 Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award for Best Thriller

Results of the Dagger Award in the year 2008.

Book:Child 44

Child 44: A Novel

Tom Rob Smith

MGB officer Leo is a man who never questions the Party Line. He arrests whomever he is told to arrest. He dismisses the horrific death of a young boy because he is told to, because he believes the Party stance that there can be no murder in Communist Russia. Leo is the perfect soldier of the regime.

But suddenly his confidence that everything he does serves a great good is shaken. He is forced to watch a man he knows to be innocent be brutally tortured. And then he is told to arrest his own wife.

Leo understands how the State works: Trust and check, but check particularly on those we trust. He faces a stark choice: his wife or his life.

And still the killings of children continue…

Book:The Echelon Vendetta

The Echelon Vendetta: A Novel

David Stone

An international spy thriller of the highest order that traverses from Venice to London to Washington, D.C.

Micah Dalton is not paid to ask questions. He’s the man the CIA sends to clean up the mess when something goes wrong—an agent gets in trouble, or worse. But when his colleague and friend Porter Nauman turns up dead in an idyllic Tuscan hill town, as a result of an apparent and unimaginably gruesome suicide, Dalton can’t help but ask questions. And when Nauman’s family is subsequently slaughtered back home in London, Dalton can sit back no longer.

Moving from Venice to London to Washington, D.C., to the unbearably beautiful mountains of the American West, Dalton tracks the specter who, with a penchant for intricate knifework influenced by Native American mysticism, is killing a disparate group of agents, former agents, and contract men—all of whom seem to have a connection to ECHELON, a mysterious company operation.…[more]

Book:I See You

I See You

Gregg Hurwitz

When bestselling thriller writer Andrew Danner wakes up in a hospital bed with no idea how he got there, he is horrified to be told that he is responsible for the murder of his ex-fiancee. In the resulting celebrity trial, Drew is exonerated on the grounds of temporary insanity caused by a recent brain tumour. But he still has no idea if he did kill Genevieve, and is desperate to find out. Haunted by what appear to be his bizarre night-time actions—did he really cut his own foot with a knife?—Drew is shocked when another woman is discovered dead, murdered in the same way as Genevieve.

Trying to clear his name and understand what’s happening to him, Drew enlists the help of a tame forensic scientist, a sympathetic detective, his staunch friend Chic who has helpful underworld connections, and an over-confident teenager. Can Drew discover what really happened that night and unmask the real killer?

Book:Ritual

Ritual: A Novel

Mo Hayder

Just after lunch on a Tuesday in April, nine feet under water, police diver Flea Marley closes her gloved fingers around a human hand. The fact that there’s no body attached is disturbing enough. Even more disturbing is the discovery, a day later, of the matching hand. Both have been recently amputated, and the indications are that the victim was still alive when they were removed. DI Jack Caffery has been newly seconded to the Major Crime Investigation Unit in Bristol. He and Flea soon establish that the hand belong to a young man who has recently disappeared. Their search for him—and for his abductor—lead them into the darkest recesses of Bristol’s underworld, where drug addiction is rife, where street-kids sell themselves for a hit, and where one of Africa’s most disturbing rituals may be making an unexpected appearance.

Book:Shatter

Shatter

Michael Robotham

A naked woman in red high-heeled shoes is perched on the edge of Clifton Suspension Bridge with her back pressed to the safety fence, weeping into a mobile phone. Clinical psychologist Joseph O’Loughlin is only feet away, desperately trying to talk her down. She whispers, “you don’t understand,” and jumps.

Later, Joe has a visitor—the woman’s teenage daughter, a runaway from boarding school. She refuses to believe that her mother would have jumped off the bridge—not only would she not commit suicide, she is terrified of heights.

Joe wants to believe her, but what would drive a woman to such a desperate act? Whose voice? What evil?

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