Annal: 2011 Barry Award for Best British Crime Novel

Results of the Barry Award in the year 2011.

Book:The Woodcutter

The Woodcutter: A Novel

Reginald Hill

A fast-moving, stunning new stand-alone psychological thriller from the award-winning author of the Dalziel and Pascoe series.

Wolf Hadda’s life has been a fairytale. From humble origins as a woodcutter’s son, he has risen to become a hugely successful entrepreneur, happily married to the girl of his dreams. But knock on the door one morning ends it all.

Universally reviled, thrown into prison while protesting his innocence, abandoned by friends and family, Wolf retreats into silence. Seven years later prison psychiatrist Alva Ozigbo makes the breakthrough. Wolf begins to talk and under her guidance gets parole, returning to his rundown family home in rural Cumbria. But there’s a mysterious period in Wolf’s youth when he disappeared from home and was known to his employers as the Woodcutter. And now the Woodcutter is back, looking for the truth—and with the truth, revenge. Can Alva intervene before his pursuit of vengeance takes him to a place from which he can never come back…?

Book:Blood Harvest

Blood Harvest

S.J. Bolton

The Fletchers’ beautiful new house is everything they dreamed it would be. Built between two churches in Heptonclough, a small village on the moors that time forgot, it ought to be paradise for this young family of five, but they barely have a chance to settle in before they find that they’re anything but welcome. Someone seems to be trying to drive them away—at first with silly pranks but then with threats that become increasingly dangerous, especially to the oldest child, ten-year-old Tom Fletcher, who begins to believe that someone is always watching him.

The adults in Tom’s life are trying to help, including his parents; the vicar next door, younger and more dashing than you’d expect a vicar to be; and a therapist, Evi Oliver, who believes him more than she wants to. But there are other clues that something isn’t quite right in Heptonclough, including the mysterious accidental deaths of three toddlers over the last ten years. It is not until Tom’s siblings, two-year-old Milly and five-year-old Joe Fletcher, go missing in turn that the little village’s evil secret turns the Fletchers’ dreams into a nightmare.

Book:Fourth Day

Fourth Day: A Charlie Fox Thriller

Zoë Sharp

The cult calling itself Fourth Day is well funded and highly jealous of its privacy. Five years ago Thomas Witney went in to try to get the evidence that the cult’s charismatic leader, Randall Bane, was responsible for the death of Witney’s son, Liam. Witney never came out. Now, Charlie Fox, and her partner, Sean Meyer, have been tasked to get Witney out, willing or not. But planning and executing a clean, surgical snatch is only the beginning. Five years is a long time to be on the inside and the man who comes out has changed beyond all recognition.

Can Witney be trusted when he says he now believes Bane is innocent of the crime and, if he is, who was behind the boy’s demise? Searching for answers, Charlie agrees to go undercover into Fourth Day’s California stronghold. A fast covert-op. No real danger for someone with her mind set and training. But Charlie has her own secrets, even from Sean, and she’s not prepared for the lure of Randall Bane, or how easily he will pinpoint her weaknesses.

Book:Started Early, Took My Dog

Started Early, Took My Dog

Kate Atkinson

It’s a day like any other for Tracy Waterhouse, running errands at the local shopping center, until she makes a purchase she hadn’t bargained for. One moment of madness is all it takes for Tracy’s humdrum world to be turned upside down, the tedium of everyday life replaced by fear and danger at every turn.

Witnesses to Tracy’s Faustian exchange are Tilly, an elderly actress teetering on the brink of her own disaster, and Jackson Brodie, who has returned to the land of his childhood, in search of someone else’s roots. Variously accompanied, pursued, or haunted by neglected dogs, unwanted children, and keepers of dark secrets, soon all three will learn that the past is never history-and that no good deed goes unpunished.

Brimming with wit, wisdom, and a fierce moral intelligence, Started Early, Took My Dog confirms Kate Atkinson’s status as one of the most original and entertaining writers of our time.

Book:Three Seconds

Three Seconds

Anders Roslund, Börge Hellström, Kari Dickson

Dark, suspenseful, and more riveting than any thriller at the local cineplex, Three Seconds is the latest novel from best-selling Swedish duo Anders Roslund and Börge Hellström-heirs apparent to Stieg Larsson and Henning Mankell as the masters of Scandinavian crime.

Piet Hoffman, a top secret operative for the Swedish police, is about to embark on his most dangerous assignment yet: after years spent infiltrating the Polish mafia, he’s become a key player in their attempt to take over amphetamine distribution inside Sweden’s prisons. To stop them from succeeding, he will have to go deep cover, posing as a prisoner inside the country’s most notorious jail.

But when a botched drug deal involving Hoffman results in a murder, the investigation is assigned to the brilliant but…[more]

Book:The Whisperers

The Whisperers: A Charlie Parker Thriller

John Connolly

The border between Maine and Canada is porous. Anything can be smuggled across it: drugs, cash, weapons, people.

Now a group of disenchanted ex-soldiers has begun its own smuggling operation, and their cargo is stranger and more terrifying than one can imagine.

Anyone, that is, except private detective Charlie Parker, who has his own intimate knowledge of the darkness in men’s hearts. Brought in to investigate an apparent suicide, Parker discovers an epidemic of deaths among the former combatants.

And that their actions have attracted the attention of the reclusive Herod, a man with a taste for the strange. Where Herod goes, so, too, does the shadowy figure that he calls the Captain. To defeat them, Parker must form an uneasy alliance with a man he fears more than any other…

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