Annal: 2009 Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award for Best Thriller

Results of the Dagger Award in the year 2009.

Book:The Last Child

The Last Child: A Novel

John Hart

Thirteen year-old Johnny Merrimon had the perfect life: a warm home and loving parents; a twin sister, Alyssa, with whom he shared an irreplaceable bond. He knew nothing of loss, until the day Alyssa vanished from the side of a lonely street. Now, a year later, Johnny finds himself isolated and alone, failed by the people he’d been taught since birth to trust. No one else believes that Alyssa is still alive, but Johnny is certain that she is—confident in a way that he can never fully explain.

Determined to find his sister, Johnny risks everything to explore the dark side of his hometown. It is a desperate, terrifying search, but Johnny is not as alone as he might think. Detective Clyde Hunt has never stopped looking for Alyssa either, and he has a soft spot for Johnny. He watches over the boy and tries to keep him safe, but when Johnny uncovers a dangerous lead and vows to follow it, Hunt has no choice but to intervene. …[more]

Book:The Brass Verdict

The Brass Verdict

Michael Connelly

Things are finally looking up for defense attorney Mickey Haller. After two years of wrong turns, Haller is back in the courtroom. When Hollywood lawyer Jerry Vincent is murdered, Haller inherits his biggest case yet: the defense of Walter Elliott, a prominent studio executive accused of murdering his wife and her lover. But as Haller prepares for the case that could launch him into the big time, he learns that Vincent’s killer may be coming for him next.

Enter Harry Bosch. Determined to find Vincent’s killer, he is not opposed to using Haller as bait. But as danger mounts and the stakes rise, these two loners realize their only choice is to work together.

Bringing together Michael Connelly’s two most popular characters, The Brass Verdict is sure to be his biggest book yet.

Book:Calumet City

Calumet City: A Novel

Charlie Newton

Among the most self-assured and sharply crafted debuts in recent years, Calumet City detonates a Molotov cocktail of character-driven suspense and ghetto-Chicago intrigue.

Meet Patti Black, the most decorated cop in Chicago. On her ghetto beat, Patti Black redefines the word badass. But her steel-plated exterior—solitary, stoic, loveless—belies the wrenching legacy of her orphan childhood. Haunted by the horrifying abuse she suffered at the hands of her foster parents, Patti Black sublimates past torments into a meticulously maintained tough-gal persona.

When a series of unrelated cases—a drug bust gone bad, a mayoral assassination attempt, the murder of a state attorney, the exhumation of a long-concealed body from a tenement basement wall—all point in Patti Black’s direction, she finds herself…[more]

Book:Dark Places

Dark Places: A Novel

Gillian Flynn

I have a meanness inside me, real as an organ.

Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in “The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas.” As her family lay dying, little Libby fled their tiny farmhouse into the freezing January snow. She lost some fingers and toes, but she survived–and famously testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, Ben sits in prison, and troubled Libby lives off the dregs of a trust created by well-wishers who’ve long forgotten her.

The Kill Club is a macabre secret society obsessed with notorious crimes. When they locate Libby and pump her for details–proof they hope may free Ben–Libby hatches a plan to profit off her tragic history. For a fee, she’ll reconnect with the players from that night and report her findings to the club…and maybe she’ll admit her testimony wasn’t so solid after all. …[more]

Book:The Interrogator

The Interrogator

Andrew Williams

Spring, 1941. The armies of the Reich are masters of Europe. Britain stands alone, dependent on her battered navy for survival, while Hitler’s submarines—his ‘grey wolves’—prey on the Atlantic convoys that are the country’s only lifeline. Lieutenant Douglas Lindsay is amongst just a handful of men picked up when his ship is torpedoed. Unable to free himself from the memories of that night at sea, he becomes an interrogator with naval intelligence, questioning captured U-Boat crews.

He is convinced the Germans have broken British naval codes, but he’s a lone voice, a damaged outsider, and his superiors begin to wonder—can he really be trusted when so much is at stake? As the Blitz reduces Britain’s cities to rubble and losses at sea mount, Lindsay becomes increasingly isolated and desperate. No one will believe him, not even his lover, Mary Henderson, who works at the very heart of the intelligence establishment.

Lindsay decides to risk all in one last throw of the dice, setting a trap for his prize captive—and nemisis—U-Boat Commander Jürgen Mohr, the man who sent his ship to its doom.

Book:Moscow Rules

Moscow Rules

Daniel Silva

He has been called his generation’s finest writer of international intrigue, one of America’s most gifted spy novelists ever, and the successor to Graham Greene and John le Carre. But with his follow-up to the 2006 electrifying number one bestseller The Messenger, Daniel Silva has written his most compelling and entertaining novel to date.

When last we encountered Gabriel Allon, the master art restorer and sometime officer of Israeli intelligence, he had just prevailed in his blood-soaked duel with Saudi terrorist financier Zizi al-Bakari. Now Gabriel is summoned once more by his masters to undertake what appears to be a routine assignment: travel to Amsterdam to purge the archives of a murdered Dutch terrorism analyst who also happened to be an asset of Israeli intelligence. But once in Amsterdam, Gabriel soon discovers a conspiracy of terror festering in the city’s Islamic underground, a plot that is about to explode on the other side of the English Channel, in…[more]

Book:The Tourist

The Tourist

Olen Steinhauer

Milo Weaver used to be a “tourist” for the CIA—an undercover agent with no home, no identity—but he’s since retired from the field to become a middle-level manager at the CIA’s New York headquarters. He’s acquired a wife, a daughter, and a brownstone in Brooklyn, and he’s tried to leave his old life of secrets and lies behind. However, when the arrest of a long-sought-after assassin sets off an investigation into one of Milo’s oldest colleagues and exposes new layers of intrigue in his old cases, he has no choice but to go back undercover and find out who’s holding the strings once and for all.

In The Tourist, Olen Steinhauer—twice nominated for an Edgar Award—tackles an intricate story of betrayal and manipulation, loyalty and risk in an utterly compelling novel that is both thoroughly modern and yet also reminiscent of the espionage genre’s luminaries: Len Deighton, Graham Greene, and John LeCarré.

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