Annal: 2012 Barry Award for Best British Crime Novel

Results of the Barry Award in the year 2012.

Book:Dead Man's Grip

Dead Man's Grip

Peter James

Carly Chase is still traumatized ten days after being in a fatal traffic accident that kills a teenage American student from Brighton University. Then she receives news that turns her entire world into a living nightmare. The drivers of the other two vehicles involved have been found tortured and murdered. Now Detective Superintendent Roy Grace of the Sussex Police force issues a stark and urgent warning to Carly: She could be next.                          

The student had deadly connections. Connections that stretch across the Atlantic to America and an organized crime group. Someone has sworn revenge and won’t rest until the final person involved in that fateful accident is dead. The police advise Carly her only option is to go into hiding and change her identity. The terrified woman disagrees. She knows these people have ways of hunting you down anywhere. If the police are unable to stop them, she has to find a way to do it herself. But already the killer is one step ahead of her, watching, waiting, and ready.

Book:Bad Signs (R.J. Ellory)

Bad Signs

R.J. Ellory

Orphaned by an act of senseless violence that took their mother from them, half-brothers Clarence Luckman and Elliott Danziger have been raised in state institutions, unaware of any world outside. But their lives take a sudden turn when they are seized as hostages by a convicted killer en route to death row. Earl Sheridan is a psychopath of the worst kind, but he has the potential to change the boys’ lives for ever. As the trio set off on a frenetic escape from the law through California and Texas, the two brothers must come to terms with the ever-growing tide of violence that follows in their wake—something that forces them to make a choice about their lives, and their relationship to one another.

Set in the 1960s, Bad Signs is a tale of the darkness within all of us, the inherent hope for salvation, and the ultimate consequences of evil. It returns to the haunting ground covered in the award-winning, international bestseller, A Quiet Belief in Angels.

Book:Hell's Bells: Samuel Johnson vs. the Devil, Round II

Hell's Bells: Samuel Johnson vs. the Devil, Round II

John Connolly

Samuel Johnson—with a little help from his dachshund Boswell and a very unlucky demon named Nurd—has sent the demons back to Hell. But the diabolical Mrs Abernathy is not one to take defeat lying down. When she reopens the portal and sucks Samuel and Boswell down into the underworld, she brings an ice-cream van full of dwarfs as well. And two policemen. Can this eccentric gang defeat the forces of Evil? And is there life after Hell for Nurd?

Book:The House at Sea's End

The House at Sea's End: A Ruth Galloway Investigation

Elly Griffiths

Ruth Galloway has just returned from maternity leave and is struggling to juggle work and motherhood. When a team from the University of North Norfolk, investigating coastal erosion, finds six bodies buried at the foot of the cliff, she is immediately put on the case. DCI Nelson is investigating, but Ruth finds this more hindrance than help—Nelson is the father of her daughter, Kate.Still, she remains professional and concentrates on the case at hand. Forensic tests prove that the bodies are from Southern Europe, killed sixty years ago. Police Investigations unearth records of Project Lucifer, a wartime plan to stop a German invasion. A further discovery reveals that members of the Broughton Sea’s End Home Guard took a ‘blood oath’ to conceal some deadly wartime secret. The more information they uncover, the more elusive any explanation becomes.When a visiting German reporter is killed, Ruth and Nelson realise that someone is still alive who will kill to keep the secret of Broughton Sea’s End’s war years. Can they discover the truth in time to stop another murder?

Book:Now You See Me

Now You See Me

S.J. Bolton

One night after interviewing a reluctant witness at a London apartment complex, Lacey Flint, a young detective constable, stumbles onto a woman brutally stabbed just moments before in the building’s darkened parking lot. Within twenty-four hours a reporter receives an anonymous letter that points out alarming similarities between the murder and Jack the Ripper’s first murder—a letter that calls out Lacey by name. If it’s real, and they have a killer bent on re-creating London’s bloody past, history shows they have just five days until the next attempt.

No one believes the connections are anything more than a sadistic killer’s game, not even Lacey, whom the killer seems to be taunting specifically. However, as they investigate the details of the case start reminding her more and more of a part of her past she’d rather keep hidden. And the only way to do that is to catch the killer herself.

Fast paced and completely riveting, S. J. Bolton’s Now You See Me is a modern gothic novel that is nothing less than a masterpiece of suspense fiction.

Book:Outrage: A Reyjavik Murder Mystery

Outrage: A Reyjavik Murder Mystery

Arnaldur Indriðason

In a flat near Reykjavík city centre, a young man lies dead in a pool of blood. There is no sign of a break-in: the only clues are a woman’s purple shawl, found under the bed in the next room, and a vial of prescription drugs in the victim’s pocket.

With Detective Erlendur away in a remote part of Iceland, Detective Elínborg, who is already struggling to juggle family life and the relentless demands of her job, is assigned the case. Her investigation into the murdered man’s past soon uncovers a squalid tale of double lives, drug dealers and the unsolved disappearance of a young girl many years before.

From its explosive opening, Outrage leads down a trail of hidden violence, psychological brutality and of wrongs that will never be fully righted.

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