Annal: 2008 Macavity Award for Best First Mystery Novel

Results of the Macavity Award in the year 2008.

Book:In the Woods

In the Woods

Tana French

A gorgeously written novel that marks the debut of an astonishing new voice in psychological suspense

As dusk approaches a small Dublin suburb in the summer of 1984, mothers begin to call their children home. But on this warm evening, three children do not return from the dark and silent woods. When the police arrive, they find only one of the children gripping a tree trunk in terror, wearing blood-filled sneakers, and unable to recall a single detail of the previous hours.

Twenty years later, the found boy, Rob Ryan, is a detective on the Dublin Murder Squad and keeps his past a secret. But when a twelve-year-old girl is found murdered in the same woods, he and Detective Cassie Maddox—his partner and closest friend—find themselves investigating a case chillingly similar to the previous unsolved mystery. Now, with only snippets of long-buried memories to guide him, Ryan has the chance to uncover both the mystery of the case before him and that of his own shadowy past.

Richly atmospheric, stunning in its complexity, and utterly convincing and surprising to the end, In the Woods is sure to enthrall fans of Mystic River and The Lovely Bones.

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:Heart-Shaped Box

Heart-Shaped Box: A Novel

Joe Hill

Aging, self-absorbed, death-metal rock star Judas Coyne was a collector. He collects the bizarre, the uncanny, and the grotesque. Many of these objects were gifts from the black-clad fans that made his metal band a legend and made him rich. But not all…When his personal assistant told him there was a ghost for sale on the Internet, Jude knew he had to have it for his private collection, didn t think twice. He should have. Jude has spent a lifetime evading ghosts of an abusive father, of the band mates he betrayed, of Anna, the suicidal girl he loved and abandoned. But this spirit is different. This one means to chase him to the edge of sanity. His new acquisition delivered to his doorstep in a black heart-shaped box is the restless soul of Anna s vengeful step daddy. Craddock McDermott swore he would settle with Jude for ruining his daughter s life. Soon, everywhere Jude turns, Craddock is there: behind the bedroom door; in Jude s restored vintage Mustang; outside his window; on his widescreen TV. Waiting with a gleaming razor blade on a chain dangling from one bony hand.

Book:The Spellman Files

The Spellman Files: A Novel

Lisa Lutz

Meet Isabel “Izzy” Spellman, private investigator. This twenty-eight-year-old may have a checkered past littered with romantic mistakes, excessive drinking, and creative vandalism; she may be addicted to Get Smart reruns and prefer entering homes through windows rather than doors—but the upshot is she’s good at her job as a licensed private investigator with her family’s firm, Spellman Investigations. Invading people’s privacy comes naturally to Izzy. In fact, it comes naturally to all the Spellmans. If only they could leave their work at the office. To be a Spellman is to snoop on a Spellman; tail a Spellman; dig up dirt on, blackmail, and wiretap a Spellman.

Part Nancy Drew, part Dirty Harry, Izzy walks an indistinguishable line between Spellman family member and Spellman employee. Duties include: completing assignments from the bosses, aka Mom and Dad (preferably without scrutiny); appeasing her chronically…[more]

Book:Stealing the Dragon

Stealing the Dragon: A Cape Weathers Investigation

Tim Maleeny

In the midst of a cutthroat mayoral election, a ship smuggling Chinese refugees runs aground on Alcatraz. With the entire crew murdered, the crime screams professional assassin. Is it a coincidence that Cape Weathers friend Sallytrained to be a deadly force by a Chinese secret society has disappeared? The private investigator knows little about Sallys murky history as an orphan in Hong Kong. But she has saved his butt umpteen times, and Cape wants to return the favor. With help from a neurotic cop, a drug lord, and an autistic computer genius, he scours the darkest corners of San Franciscos Chinatown searching for the snakeheadthe leader of the human smuggling ringthat will lead him to Sally.

From the ancient Triads of Hong Kong to Chinatowns underground, this electrifying thriller penetrates the sinister and fascinating world of organized crime.

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