Annal: 2010 Barry Award for Best British Crime Novel

Results of the Barry Award in the year 2010.

Book:If the Dead Rise Not

If the Dead Rise Not: A Bernie Gunther Mystery

Philip Kerr

Berlin 1934. The Nazis have been in power for just eighteen months but already Germany has seen some unpleasant changes. As the city prepares to host the 1936 Olympics, Jews are being expelled from all German sporting organisations—a blatant example of discrimination.

Forced to resign as a homicide detective with Berlin’s Criminal Police, Bernie is now house detective at the famous Adlon Hotel. The discovery of two bodies—one a businessman and the other a Jewish boxer—involves Bernie in the lives of two hotel guests. One is a beautiful left-wing journalist intent on persuading America to boycott the Berlin Olympiad; the other is a German-Jewish gangster who plans to use the Olympics to enrich himself and the Chicago mob. As events unfold, Bernie uncovers a vast labour and construction racket designed to take advantage of the huge sums the Nazis are prepared to spend to showcase the new Germany to the world. It is a plot that finds its conclusion twenty years later in pre-revolution Cuba, the country to which Bernie flees from Argentina at the end of A Quiet Flame.

Book:Awakening (S.J. Bolton)

Awakening

S.J. Bolton

Clara Benning, a veterinary surgeon, is young and intelligent, but reclusive. Disfigured by a childhood accident, she prefers animals to people. When a man dies following a supposed snakebite, Clara’s expertise is needed. She’s chilled to learn that the victim’s postmortem shows a higher concentration of venom than could ever be found in one snake: The killer was human. Assisted by a neighbor and an eccentric reptile expert, Clara uncovers links to an ancient ritual, an abandoned house, and a fifty-year-old tragedy. But for someone the truth must remain buried in the past—even if they have to kill to keep it there.

Awakening is a disturbing tale of dark secrets that will have readers unable to stop for a breath until they reach the stunning climax of this extraordinary read from acclaimed author S. J. Bolton.

Book:Ignorance of Blood

Ignorance of Blood

Robert Wilson

As a sweltering Seville recovers from the shock of a terrorist attack, Inspector Jefe Javier Falcón is struggling to find the bombers. The death of a gangster in a spectacular car crash offers vital evidence implicating the Russian mafia in his investigation, but it pitches Falcón into the heart of a turf war over prostitution and drugs. Now the target of vicious hoods, Falcón finds those closest to him are also coming under intolerable pressure: his best friend, who’s spying for the Spanish government, reveals that he is being blackmailed by Islamist extremists, and Falcón’s own lover suffers a mother’s worst nightmare. He might be able to bring the perpetrators of the bombing to justice, but there will be a devastating price to pay.

Book:The Lovers (John Connolly)

The Lovers: A Charlie Parker Thriller

John Connolly

Charlie Parker is a lost soul. Deprived of his private investigator’s license and under scrutiny by the police, Parker takes a job in a Portland bar. But he uses his enforced retirement to begin a different kind of investigation: an examination of his own past and an inquiry into the death of his father, who took his own life after apparently shooting dead two unarmed teenagers. It’s a search that will eventually lead Parker to question all that he believed about his beloved parents, and about himself.

But there are other forces at work: a troubled young woman who is running from an unseen threat, one that has already taken the life of her boyfriend; and a journalist-turned-writer named Mickey Wallace, who is conducting an investigation of his own. And haunting the shadows, as they have done throughout Parker’s life, are two figures: a man and a woman who seem driven to bring an end to Charlie Parker’s existence.

Haunting, lyrical, and impossible to put down, The Lovers is John Connolly at his best.

Book:Midnight Fugue

Midnight Fugue: A Dalziel and Pascoe Mystery

Reginald Hill

It starts with a phone call to Superintendent Dalziel from an old friend asking for help. But where it ends is a very different story.

Gina Wolfe has come to mid Yorkshire in search of her missing husband, believed dead. Her fiancÉ, Commander Mick Purdy of the Met, thinks Dalziel should be able to take care of the job. What none of them realize is how events set in motion decades ago will come to a violent head on this otherwise ordinary summer’s day.

A Welsh tabloid journalist senses the story he’s been chasing for years may have finally landed in his lap. A Tory MP’s secretary suspects her boss’s father has an unsavory history that could taint his son’s prime ministerial ambitions. The ruthless entrepreneur in question sends two henchmen out to make sure the past stays in the past. And the lethal pair dispatched…[more]

Book:Still Midnight

Still Midnight

Denise Mina

Alex Morrow is not new to the police force-or to crime-but there is nothing familiar about the call she has just received. On a still night in a quiet suburb of Glasgow, Scotland, three armed men have slipped from a van into a house, demanding a man who is not, and has never been, inside the front door. In the confusion that ensues, one family member is shot and another kidnapped, the assailants demanding an impossible ransom. Is this the amateur crime gone horribly wrong that it seems, or something much more unexpected?

As Alex falls further into the most challenging case of her career, Denise Mina proves why “if you don’t read crime novels, Mina is your reason to change” (Rocky Mountain News).

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