Annal: 2009 Barry Award for Best British Crime Novel

Results of the Barry Award in the year 2009.

Book:The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Stieg Larsson

An international publishing sensation, Stieg Larsson’s Girl with the Dragon Tattoo combines murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue into one satisfyingly complex and entertainingly atmospheric novel.

Harriet Vanger, a scion of one of Sweden’s wealthiest families disappeared over forty years ago. All these years later, her aged uncle continues to seek the truth. He hires Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently trapped by a libel conviction, to investigate. He is aided by the pieced and tattooed punk prodigy Lisbeth Salander. Together they tap into a vein of unfathomable iniquity and astonishing corruption.

Book:Bleeding Heart Square

Bleeding Heart Square

Andrew Taylor

It’s 1934, and the decaying London cul-de-sac of Bleeding Heart Square is an unlikely place of refuge for aristocratic Lydia Langstone. But as she flees her abusive marriage there is only one person she can turn to—the genteelly derelict Captain Ingleby-Lewis, currently lodging at No. 7.

However, unknown to Lydia, a dark mystery haunts 7 Bleeding Heart Square. What happened to Miss Penhow, the middle-aged spinster who owns the house and who vanished four years earlier? Why is a seedy plain-clothes policeman obsessively watching the square? What is making struggling journalist Rory Wentwood so desperate to contact Miss Penhow?

And why are parcels of rotting hearts being sent to Joseph Serridge, the last person to see Miss Penhow alive…?

Legend has it the Devil once danced in Bleeding Heart Square—but is there now a new and sinister presence lurking in its shadows?

Book:Bruno, Chief of Police

Bruno, Chief of Police

Martin Walker

The first installment in a wonderful new series that follows the exploits of Benoît Courrèges, a policeman in a small French village where the rituals of the café still rule. Bruno—as he is affectionately nicknamed—may be the town’s only municipal policeman, but in the hearts and minds of its denizens, he is chief of police.

Bruno is a former soldier who has embraced the pleasures and slow rhythms of country life—living in his restored shepherd’s cottage; patronizing the weekly market; sparring with, and basically ignoring, the European Union bureaucrats from Brussels. He has a gun but never wears it; he has the power to arrest but never uses it. But then the murder of an elderly North African who fought in the French army changes everything and galvanizes Bruno’s attention: the man was found with a swastika carved into his chest. …[more]

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?

Book:A Simple Act of Violence

A Simple Act of Violence

R.J. Ellory

Washington, embroiled in the mid-term elections, did not want to hear about serial killings. But when the newspapers reported a fourth murder, when they gave the killer a name and details of his horrendous crimes, there were few people that could ignore it.

Detective Robert Miller is assigned to the case. He and his partner begin the task of correlating and cross-referencing the details of each crime scene. Rapidly things begin to complicate. The victims do not officially exist. Their personal details do not register on any known systems. The harder Miller works, the less it makes sense. And as Miller unearths ever more disturbing facts, he starts to face truths so far-removed from his own reality that he begins to fear for his life.

This is a novel about trust, loyalty, and beliefs that are so ingrained which, when challenged, they leave people with…[more]

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