Annal: 2012 Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award for Best Thriller

Results of the Dagger Award in the year 2012.

Book:A Foreign Country (Charles Cumming)

A Foreign Country

Charles Cumming

From the internationally acclaimed, New York Times bestselling author of The Trinity Six, comes a compelling tale of deceit and betrayal, conspiracy and redemption.

On the vacation of a lifetime in Egypt, an elderly French couple are brutally murdered. Days later, a meticulously-planned kidnapping takes place on the streets of Paris. Amelia Levene, the first female Chief of MI6, has disappeared without a trace, six weeks before she is due to take over as the most influential spy in Europe. It is the gravest crisis MI6 has faced in more than a decade. Desperate not only to find her, but to keep her disappearance a secret, Britain’s top intelligence agents turn to one of their own: disgraced MI6 officer Thomas Kell. Tossed out of the Service only months before, Kell is given one final chance to redeem himself—find Amelia Levene at any cost. The trail leads Kell to France and Tunisia, where he uncovers a shocking secret and a conspiracy that could have unimaginable repercussions for Britain and its allies. Only Kell stands in the way of personal and political catastrophe.

Book:Dare Me

Dare Me

Megan Abbott

Addy Hanlon has always been Beth Cassidy’s best friend and trusted lieutenant. Beth calls the shots and Addy carries them out, a long-established order of things that has brought them to the pinnacle of their high-school careers. Now they’re seniors who rule the intensely competitive cheer squad, feared and followed by the other girls—until the young new coach arrives.

Cool and commanding, an emissary from the adult world just beyond their reach, Coach Colette French draws Addy and the other cheerleaders into her life. Only Beth, unsettled by the new regime, remains outside Coach’s golden circle, waging a subtle but vicious campaign to regain her position as “top girl”—both with the team and with Addy herself.

Then a suicide focuses a police investigation on Coach and her squad. After the first wave of shock and grief, Addy tries to uncover the truth behind the death—and learns that the boundary between loyalty and love can be dangerous terrain. …[more]

Book:The Fear Index

The Fear Index

Robert Harris

High tech finance and sophisticated computer programming combine in this terrifying and fiendishly smart new novel from Robert Harris.

Dr. Alex Hoffmann stays out of the public spotlight, but within the secretive inner circles of the ultra-rich he is a legend. And now he has developed a revolutionary form of artificial intelligence that predicts movements in the financial markets with uncanny accuracy. As a result, his Geneva-based hedge fund is poised to make billions. But one morning before dawn, a sinister intruder breaches the elaborate security of his lakeside mansion. So begins a waking nightmare of paranoia and violence as Hoffmann attempts, with increasing desperation, to discover who is trying to destroy him.

Book:Reamde

Reamde

Neal Stephenson

From the extraordinary Neal Stephenson comes an epic adventure that spans entire worlds, both real and virtual.

The black sheep of an Iowa farming clan, former draft dodger and successful marijuana smuggler Richard Forthrast amassed a small fortune over the years—and then increased it a thousandfold when he created T’Rain. A massive, multibillion-dollar, multiplayer online role-playing game, T’Rain now has millions of obsessed fans from the U.S. to China. But a small group of ingenious Asian hackers has just unleashed Reamde—a virus that encrypts all of a player’s electronic files and holds them for ransom—which has unwittingly triggered a war that’s creating chaos not only in the virtual universe but in the real one as well. Its repercussions will be felt all around the globe—setting in motion a devastating series of events involving Russian mobsters, computer geeks, secret agents, and Islamic terrorists—with Forthrast standing at ground zero and his loved ones caught in the crossfire.

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