Annal: 2008 John Creasey Memorial New Blood Dagger for a Debuting Author

Results of the Dagger Award in the year 2008. Due to multiple honors from a single award, the following titles received no points in this category: Child 44.

Book:The Bethlehem Murders

The Bethlehem Murders: An Omar Yussef Mystery

Matt Beynon Rees

Omar Yussef has taught history to the children of Bethlehem for as long as anyone can remember. When a favourite former pupil, George Saba, is arrested over a murder, Omar is convinced that he has been framed. With George facing imminent execution, Omar sets out to prove his innocence.

As Omar falls foul of his headmaster and the local police chief, time begins to run out for this teacher-turned-detective. His classroom is bombed and members of his family are threatened. But with no one else willing to stand up for the truth, it is up to Omar to act, even as bloodshed and heartbreak surround him.

Book:Absolution

Absolution: A Novel of Suspense

Caro Ramsay

It’s been twenty years since Police Detective Alan McAlpine has set foot in Patrickhill Station-and more than twenty years since he fell forever in love with the mute, faceless woman he called Anna as she lay dying in Glasgow’s Western Infirmary. Now McAlpine is back in Patrickhill, where he’s been summoned to head up the investigation of a disturbing murder case. Two women have already died at the hands of a man the press has tagged the Crucifixion Killer. More gruesomely, the third victim will also have been violently disfigured.

The face of another woman, though—a strikingly beautiful young woman, blonde—has taken hold of McAlpine’s consciousness, and soon the consequences of a case cold for two decades are commanding-and dangerously thwarting-the course of his team’s current, already desperate investigation

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:Die With Me

Die With Me

Elena Forbes

Somewhere in London, a lonely young woman is reaching out to the wrong man. It’s up to Detective Inspector Mark Tartaglia and the rest of the Murder Squad to find her before a killer does.

When fourteen-year-old Gemma Kramer’s broken body is found on the floor of St. Sebastian’s Church, the official ruling is that she jumped to her death from the organ gallery above the altar. But then a witness comes forward claiming to have seen Gemma kissing a much older man before the two disappeared into the church together. And when the toxicology report reveals traces of GHB and alcohol in her system, a full-scale murder investigation is launched.

At the helm is Detective Inspector Mark Tartaglia, a stubborn cop known for following his hunches. It’s Tartaglia’s first time in charge, and he walks right into a political minefield as the investigation turns up three more suspicious deaths—all…[more]

Book:The Night of the Mi'raj

The Night of the Mi'raj

Zoë Ferraris

Among the well-to-do families of Jeddah, Palestinian-born desert guide Nayir is an outsider. But when Nouf ash-Shrawi, the sixteen-year-old daughter of a wealthy Saudi dynasty, disappears just before her arranged marriage, Nayir is the man the Shrawis trust to bring her home.

Days later Nouf’s body is found in a desert wadi, but Nayir’s task is not over; he feels compelled to uncover the disturbing circumstances surrounding her death. His search takes him far from his natural terrain, away from the endless dunes and empty skies of the desert and into the city of Jeddah, with its oppressive monuments, foreigners’ compounds and shuttered apartments. Most troubling of all, his investigations force him to work closely with Katya Hijazi, a forensic scientist. He finds himself struggling with emotions he has fought all his life to repress and with loyalties he has never before questioned: to old friends,…[more]

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