Annal: 2008 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller

Results of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in the year 2008.

Book:Envy the Night

Envy the Night

Michael Koryta

In this first stand-alone novel from the critically acclaimed Edgar Award-finalist, Michael Koryta fulfills his early promise with a dark and mature novel of a young man trying to escape his past.

It has been seven years since Frank Temple III joined the rest of the world in learning his father’s bloody secret: The U.S. marshal maintained a covert career as a contract killer, a double-life that ended in suicide to avoid prosecution and prison.

The shocking revelation triggered years of anonymous drifting for Frank, time spent running from his legacy and struggling to believe that the father he’d loved so dearly was entirely in the wrong. After all, the victims hadn’t been innocents. And Devin Matteson, the man who’d lured his father into the killing game only to later give him up to the FBI, is probably the darkest of the lot. Those are troubling thoughts, and Frank tries to stay away from them. But when an old family friend calls to say…[more]

Book:The Age of Dreaming

The Age of Dreaming: A Novel

Nina Revoyr

Jun Nakayama was a silent film star in the early days of Hollywood, but by 1964, he is living in complete obscurity-until a young writer, Nick Bellinger, reveals that he has written a screenplay with Nakayama in mind. Jun is intrigued by the possibility of returning to movies, but he begins to worry that someone might delve too deeply into the past and uncover the events that led to the abrupt end of his career in 1922. These events include the changing racial tides in California and the unsolved murder of his favorite director, Ashley Bennett Tyler.

The Age of Dreaming is part historical novel, part mystery, and part unrequited love story.

Book:Bad Traffic

Bad Traffic: An Inspector Jian Novel

Simon Lewis

Inspector Jian is a tough Chinese cop who thinks he’s seen it all. But his search for his missing daughter takes him to the meanest streets he’s ever faced—in rural England.

Migrant worker Ding Ming is distressed—his gang master is making demands, he owes a lot of money to the snakeheads, and no one will tell him where his wife has been taken. Maybe England isn’t the Gold Mountain he was promised.

Two desperate men, lost in a baffling foreign land, are pitted against a ruthless band of human traffickers in this breathtaking thriller.

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 Finder

The Finder: A Novel

Colin Harrison

Jin Li is a beautiful, driven young woman who happens to run one dangerous little operation. Manhattan corporations hire her for a simple but delicate task: to destroy the reams of highly classified documents they produce each day. But little do they know that she has been funneling their secrets to her brother, Chen, in Shanghai, and that together they’ve been gaming the international markets, and making a pile of cash. When someone at the Good Pharma corporation, whose stock is plummeting, uncovers the scheme, two of Jin Li’s workers die a grisly death, and Jin is on the run. Her brother extorts Jin’s old flame Ray Grant—an ex-firefighter with a disturbing 9/11 past—to track her down. He’ll have to comb every strata of New York, from the brutal Mexican mafia to the greed-fueled penthouse billionaires of Wall Street, to find her.

An intricate tale of avarice, corruption, and power, Colin Harrison’s masterful new thriller is a “brilliantly executed novel” (The Baltimore Sun).

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