Annal: 2010 Hammett Prize for Crime-Writing

Results of the Hammett Prize in the year 2010.

Book:The Nearest Exit

The Nearest Exit: A Novel

Olen Steinhauer

Faced with the potential dissolution of his marriage and the end of his quiet, settled life, reluctant spy Milo Weaver has no choice but to return to his old job as a “tourist” for the CIA. But before he can get back to the dirty work of espionage, he has to prove his worth to his new bosses. Armed with a stack of false identities, Milo heads back to Europe, and for nearly three months every assignment is executed perfectly. Then he’s instructed to kill the fifteen-year-old daughter of Moldovan immigrants, and make the body disappear. No questions. For Milo, it’s an impossible task, but ignoring his handlers is equally untenable. Suddenly he’s in a dangerous position, caught between right and wrong, between powerful self-interested foes, between patriots and traitors—especially now that he has nothing left to lose.

Book:Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter

Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter: A Novel

Tom Franklin

Edgar Award-winning author Tom Franklin returns with his most accomplished and resonant novel so far—an atmospheric drama set in rural Mississippi. In the late 1970s, Larry Ott and Silas “32” Jones were boyhood pals. Their worlds were as different as night and day: Larry, the child of lower-middle-class white parents, and Silas, the son of a poor, single black mother. Yet for a few months the boys stepped outside of their circumstances and shared a special bond. But then tragedy struck: Larry took a girl on a date to a drive-in movie, and she was never heard from again. She was never found and Larry never confessed, but all eyes rested on him as the culprit. The incident shook the county—and perhaps Silas most of all. His friendship with Larry was broken, and then Silas left town.

More than twenty years have passed. Larry, a mechanic, lives a solitary existence, never able to rise above the whispers…[more]

Book:Get Capone

Get Capone: The Secret Plot That Captured America's Most Wanted Gangster

Jonathan Eig

Drawing on thousands of pages of recently discovered government documents, wiretap transcripts, and Al Capone’s handwritten personal letters, New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Eig tells the dramatic story of the rise and fall of the nation’s most notorious criminal in rich new detail.

From the moment he arrived in Chicago in 1920, Capone found himself in a world of limitless opportunity. He was an impetuous, affable young man of average intelligence, ill prepared for fame and fortune, whose most notable characteristic was his scarred left cheek. Yet within a few years, Capone controlled an illegal bootlegging business with annual revenue rivaling that of some of the nation’s largest corporations. Along the way he corrupted the Chicago police force and local courts while becoming one of the world’s first international celebrities. …[more]

Book:Iron River

Iron River: A Charlie Hood Novel

T. Jefferson Parker

On a dusty highway just north of the United States/Mexico border, a man named Mike Finnegan is struck by a fast-moving vehicle and flung into the desert. Miraculously, he survives and winds up in a hospital in the tiny border town of Buenavista, seemingly in full possession of his faculties — including the eerie ability to understand events happening well outside the view from his hospital bed.

Charlie Hood joins a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms task force patrolling the “iron river,” where illegal guns flow from United States dealers to the Mexican drug business. Hood is part of a stakeout team when a federal officer’s bullet kills an innocent boy.

The boy happens to be the son of Benjamin Armenta, head of the Gulf Cartel and one of the most violent men in the world.…[more]

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