Annal: 2013 Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award for Best Thriller

Results of the Dagger Award in the year 2013.

Book:Ghostman (Roger Hobbs)

Ghostman: A Novel

Roger Hobbs

Stunningly dark, hugely intelligent and thoroughly addictive, Ghostman announces the arrival of an exciting and highly distinctive novelist.

When a casino robbery in Atlantic City goes horribly awry, the man who orchestrated it is obliged to call in a favor from someone who’s occasionally called Jack. While it’s doubtful that anyone knows his actual name or anything at all about his true identity, or even if he’s still alive, he’s in his mid-thirties and lives completely off the grid, a criminal’s criminal who does entirely as he pleases and is almost impossible to get in touch with. But within hours a private jet is flying this exceptionally experienced fixer and cleaner-upper from Seattle to New Jersey and right into a spectacular mess: one heister dead in the parking lot, another winged but on the run, the shooter a complete mystery, the $1.2 million in freshly printed bills god knows…[more]

Book:Capital Punishment (Robert Wilson)

Capital Punishment

Robert Wilson

Meet Charles Boxer—ex-army, ex-police and now a high-stakes kidnap recovery specialist, he knows only too well how the dark forces in the city can reach out and ensnare an innocent victim.

The hostage is the beautiful Alyshia D’Cruz, daughter of Indian tycoon Francisco ‘Frank’ D’Cruz. After a boozy night out she gets into the wrong cab home and Boxer is the only man Frank will trust to go down into the criminal underworld to retrieve her.

Boxer knows that Frank’s crooked business empire has made him plenty of enemies, but despite the vast D’Cruz fortune, the kidnappers don’t want his cash. They prefer a crueller, more lethal game and to have any chance of saving Alyshia, Boxer must play it out with religious fanatics, London’s home-grown crime lords and Indian mobsters, as his trail crosses paths with…[more]

Book:Ratlines (Stuart Neville)

Ratlines

Stuart Neville

Ireland 1963. As the Irish people prepare to welcome President John F. Kennedy to the land of his ancestors, a German national is murdered in a seaside guesthouse. Lieutenant Albert Ryan, Directorate of Intelligence, is ordered to investigate. The German is the third foreigner to die within a few days, and Minister for Justice Charles Haughey wants the killing to end lest a shameful secret be exposed: the dead men were all Nazis granted asylum by the Irish government in the years following World War II.

A note from the killers is found on the dead German’s corpse, addressed to Colonel Otto Skorzeny, Hitler’s favorite commando, once called the most dangerous man in Europe. The note simply says: “We are coming for you.”

As Albert Ryan digs deeper into the case he discovers a network of former Nazis and collaborators, all presided over by Skorzeny from his country estate outside Dublin. When Ryan closes in on the killers, his loyalty is torn between country and conscience. Why must he protect the very people he fought against twenty years before? Ryan learns that Skorzeny might be a dangerous ally, but he is a deadly enemy.

Book:The Sentinel (Mark Oldfield)

The Sentinel

Mark Oldfield

You can’t escape the past.

He was the cold steel behind Franco’s regime. The fear behind Franco’s power.

57 years ago, Comandante Leopoldo Guzmán disappeared without a trace. They know what he did, but they don’t know where he’s gone.

Madrid, winter 1953: the snow lies thick on the ground and Comandante Guzmán of the Brigada Especial is preparing a dawn raid. His job is to hunt down opponents of Franco’s regime and destroy them. Feared by all in Franco’s Spain, Guzmán takes what he wants: food, drink, women.

That is about to change. Guzmán is going to find himself on the wrong side of Franco, and on the wrong side of history.…[more]

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