Sunday, October 27, 2013

CWA awards - the year's best crime fiction

Presented on Thursday, televised tonight, the Crime Writers' Association has awarded its daggers for 2013.

Mick Herron won best crime novel (the Goldsboro Gold Dagger) for Dead Lions, published by the small Soho imprint, so a major triumph.  Best thriller (Ian Fleming Steel Dagger) went to Roger Hobbs for Ghostman, and best debut (John Creasey Dagger) was Norwegian by Night by Derek B Miller.

This is Mick Herron's own summary of Dead Lions:

"A body on a bus, and a cryptic one-word message on a mobile phone – cicadas – puts Jackson Lamb on the trail of a Cold War legend.

"Alexander Popov never really existed; he was a bogeyman invented by the KGB. But that hasn’t stopped him springing back to life, setting in motion a decades-old conspiracy with a brand-new target: London’s newest, tallest skyscraper…

"Deep in the heart of the country, a long-dormant sleeper network is stirring. With the alarm about to sound, can Lamb’s crew stop fighting each other long enough to fight off a common enemy?"

Sounds like major fun to me - as does Ghostman, again as described by its author:

"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 occiationally called Jack. While it's doubtful 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-30's 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 where, and the FBI already waiting for Jack at the airport. To contend with all this will require every gram of his skill, ingenuity, and self protective instincts."

And finally...

"Eighty-two years old, and recently widowed, Sheldon Horowitz has grudgingly moved to Oslo, with his grand-daughter and her Norwegian husband. An ex-Marine, he talks often to the ghosts of his past - the friends he lost in the Pacific and the son who followed him into the US Army, and to his death in Vietnam.

"When Sheldon witnesses the murder of a woman in his apartment complex, he rescues her six-year-old son and decides to run. Pursued by both the Balkan gang responsible for the murder, and the Norwegian police, he has to rely on training from over half a century before to try and keep the boy safe. Against a strange and foreign landscape, this unlikely couple, who can't speak the same language, start to form a bond that may just save them both."

I've got to say, I love the daring of starting a series with an octogenarian protagonist.  I look forward to reading all three of the winning novels, but I hope to start with the Miller.

Friday, October 11, 2013

The Wizard

Just learned via Twitter that The Wizard Sir Edward Burne-Jones is now on display in the Pre-Raphaelite galleries and Birmingham Art Gallery and Museum.

Looks like another trip to Birmingham for me, then.

Roger Wood's Biblioblog: Come Unto These Yellow Sands - Angela Carter

Roger Wood's Biblioblog: Come Unto These Yellow Sands - Angela Carter: Angela Carter was a true enthusiast of radio drama which she found ideally suited to her gothic sensibilities.  For Carter, radio was the...