2012

Winner

A FOREIGN COUNTRY by Charles Cumming  (HarperCollins)

‘A gripping premise, expertly sustained, lots of believable spycraft and memorable supporting characters.’

Amelia Levene, the first female Chief of MI6, has disappeared without a trace, six weeks before she is due to take on the role. 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 her allies. Only Kell stands in the way of personal and political catastrophe.

 

Shortlisted

DARE ME by Megan Abbott (Picador)

‘Dark, edgy and gripping, this is a tale of uttermost loyalty to one’s clan, as the bitter power rivalries of a cheerleading squad are revealed. The characters drawn with startling flaws and humanity and a narrative that keeps you guessing.’

A FOREIGN COUNTRY by Charles Cumming (HarperCollins)

‘Written by a former Mi6 worker, this contemporary spy thriller boasts a gripping premise, expertly sustained, lots of believable spycraft and memorable supporting characters.’

THE FEAR INDEX by Robert Harris (Hutchinson)

‘This is a highly readable account of a scientist who once worked on the Hadron Collider and now runs a hedge fund.  An intriguingly ambiguous take on the Frankenstein story, it oozes with the stench of paranoia.’

REAMDE by Neal Stephenson (Atlantic Books)

‘A remarkable confection centred on a global computer game, it encompasses every conceivable aspect of thrillerdom.  Admirable plotting, wit, characters and ambition, this novel revels in the threatening darkness of cyber space.’

Judges

Corinne Turner (Administrative Chair) – Managing Director, Ian Fleming Publications Ltd
Fergus Fleming  – one of Britain’s leading popular historians and the author of five critically acclaimed histories of exploration. He is Ian Fleming’s nephew.
Robert Laycock – works in various entertainment related businesses involving Intellectual Property management, publishing and film.
John Dugdale – the Sunday Times’s thriller reviewer, and writes about books more generally for the Guardian.
David Headley – literary agent and owner of Goldsboro Books independent bookshop.
NJ Cooper – crime writer and journalist, who regularly speaks at crime-writing conferences and on the radio.