Honor roll: Barry Award for Best British Crime Novel

Each of these books has been nominated for a Barry Award for Best British Crime Novel. They are ranked by honors received.

Book:A Place of Execution

A Place of Execution

Val McDermid

On a freezing day in December 1963, thirteen-year-old Alison Carter vanishes from her village. Nothing will ever be the same again for the inhabitants of the isolated hamlet in the English countryside. A young George Bennett, a newly-promoted inspector, he is determined to solve this case—even if it just to bring home a daughter’s dead body to her mother.

As days progress, the likelihood that Alison has been murdered increases when a gruesome discovery is made in a cave. But with no corpse, the barest of clues, and an investigation that turns up more questions than answers, Bennett finds himself up against a stone wall…until he learns the shocking truth—a truth that will have far-reaching consequences.

Decades later, Bennett finally tells his story to journalist Catherine Heathcote. But just when the book is posed for publication, he pulls the plug on it without explanation. He has new information that he will not divulge. Refusing to let the past remain a mystery, Catherine sets out to uncover what really happened to Alison Carter. But the secret is one she might wish she’d left buried on that cold, dark day thirty-five years ago.

Book:The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Stieg Larsson

An international publishing sensation, Stieg Larsson’s Girl with the Dragon Tattoo combines murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue into one satisfyingly complex and entertainingly atmospheric novel.

Harriet Vanger, a scion of one of Sweden’s wealthiest families disappeared over forty years ago. All these years later, her aged uncle continues to seek the truth. He hires Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently trapped by a libel conviction, to investigate. He is aided by the pieced and tattooed punk prodigy Lisbeth Salander. Together they tap into a vein of unfathomable iniquity and astonishing corruption.

Book:If the Dead Rise Not

If the Dead Rise Not: A Bernie Gunther Mystery

Philip Kerr

Berlin 1934. The Nazis have been in power for just eighteen months but already Germany has seen some unpleasant changes. As the city prepares to host the 1936 Olympics, Jews are being expelled from all German sporting organisations—a blatant example of discrimination.

Forced to resign as a homicide detective with Berlin’s Criminal Police, Bernie is now house detective at the famous Adlon Hotel. The discovery of two bodies—one a businessman and the other a Jewish boxer—involves Bernie in the lives of two hotel guests. One is a beautiful left-wing journalist intent on persuading America to boycott the Berlin Olympiad; the other is a German-Jewish gangster who plans to use the Olympics to enrich himself and the Chicago mob. As events unfold, Bernie uncovers a vast labour and construction racket designed to take advantage of the huge sums the Nazis are prepared to spend to showcase the new Germany to the world. It is a plot that finds its conclusion twenty years later in pre-revolution Cuba, the country to which Bernie flees from Argentina at the end of A Quiet Flame.

Book:Mr Clarinet

Mr Clarinet: A Max Mingus Thriller

Nick Stone

It was a job Miami private investigator Max Mingus found hard to refuse: $10 million to locate billionaire’s son Charlie Carver—missing now for over three years.

Young Charlie disappeared on the island of Haiti, where over the decades scores of children have vanished. In a country dominated by voodoo, rumours abound of black magic and a mythical figure called “Mr Clarinet”, who for years has been tempting children away from their families.

But could the truth be even more shocking than the legend?

To find out, Max will have to succeed where previous detectives have not only failed—but where some have died. And suddenly, this job isn’t all about finding Charlie or his killers for the money—it’s just about staying alive…

Book:River of Darkness

River of Darkness

Rennie Airth

In rural England, in a landscape shadowed by the sorrow of World War I, the peace of a small Surrey village is shattered by a murderous attack, which leaves five butchered bodies and no motive for the killings. Sent by Scotland Yard to investigate is Inspector John Madden, a grave and good man who bears the emotional and physical scars from his own harrowing war experiences and from the tragic loss of his wife and child. The local police dismiss the slaughter as a robbery gone tragically awry, but Madden and his chief inspector detect the work of a madman.

With the help of a beautiful doctor who introduces Madden to the latest developments in forensic psychology and who opens his heart again to the possibility of love, Madden sets out to identify and capture the killer—a demented former soldier with a bloody past—even as he sets his sights on his next innocent victims.

Book:The House Sitter

The House Sitter

Peter Lovesey

When a woman is found strangled to death on a popular beach in Sussex, the police have a hard time identifying her. It takes twelve days to discover she was a top psychological profiler for the National Crime Faculty. Detective Superintendent Peter Diamond is called in because the victim lived in Bath. He must coordinate his efforts with those of Henrietta Mallin, the original senior investigating officer, as well as try to cooperate with the cocky young officer charged with investigating the bizarre murder that the victim had been working on.

Oddly, the National Crime Faculty tries to thwart his efforts.

Book:Flesh & Blood

Flesh & Blood: A Frank Elder Mystery

John Harvey

Retirement has not come easy for Detective Inspector Frank Elder. He’s fled west, into a solitary existence on the Cornish coast, but he can’t escape the past. He continues to be troubled by his wife’s betrayal, he worries over their teenage daughter, he’s haunted by bad dreams that lead him to the body of a sixteen-year-old girl.

Susan Blacklock would be thirty now. But fourteen years ago she disappeared, and for fourteen years the case of the missing schoolgirl with a flair for drama has gone unsolved. Not that Elder hadn’t had his suspects. In fact, he’d seen the two of them—Shane Donald and Alan McKeirnan—convicted a year later for the brutal rape and murder of another young, pretty girl whose body had been buried in a sandy grave. And now, with Shane granted an early release from prison, Elder feels compelled to return to the seaside scenes of the crime. …[more]

Book:Tokyo

Tokyo

Mo Hayder

Student Grey Hutchins comes to Tokyo seeking answers to what happened during the notorious Nanking Massacre in which, in one city, the Imperial Japanese Army killed up to 300,000 civilians. With its focus on 1980’s Tokyo and China in the late 1930s, and a woman who has quite a lot to prove and even more to hide, this is a literary thriller of the highest order. With its heady atmosphere of overt violence, lurking fear and sexual tension, Tokyo is a novel that takes hold of the reader and does not let go until its explosive final pages.

Book:Priest

Priest: A Novel

Ken Bruen

Ireland, awash with cash and greed, no longer turns to the Church for solace or comfort. But the decapitation of Father Joyce in a Galway confessional horrifies even the most jaded citizen. Jack Taylor, devastated by a recent personal loss, has always believed himself to be beyond salvation. But a new job offers a fresh start, and an unexpected partnership makes him hope that his one desperate visionof familymight yet be fulfilled.

Book:The Dramatist

The Dramatist: A Jack Taylor Novel

Ken Bruen

Seems impossible, but Jack Taylor is sober. One reason hes been able to keep clean: his dealers in jail, which leaves Jack without a source. That dealer calls him to Dublin and asks a favorthe mans sister is dead and the guards have called it death by misadventure. But he says that cant be true and begs Jack to have a look, check around, see what he can find. Jack agrees, though he cant possibly know the shocking, deadly consequences that granting this simple request will bring. Jack will understand soon, in the dark, lethal fourth entry in Ken Bruens award-winning Jack Taylor series.

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