Steel Dagger Shortlist 2017

We are pleased to announce the six-book shortlist for the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award for 2016/17. The judges’ selection of the most exceptional thrillers are arranged alphabetically by author’s surname below.

Megan Abbott – You Will Know Me (Picador – 27 July 2016)

Social and parental ambition becomes deadly in this tense title about obsession, jealousy and the quest for perfection in the compelling setting of a small town high school gymnastics team. Abbott’s writing is completely believable, expertly twisting expectations to deliver an engrossing psycho-drama of a thriller.

J S Carol – The Killing Game (Bookouture – 11 October 2016)

Cunningly structured Hollywood hostage drama that boldly explores how the spheres of showbiz and terrorism overlap in their hunger for fame and news coverage. Carol’s world is peopled with troublingly realistic characters and disturbs in its portrayal of moral ambiguity. The cinematic pace never slows; totally absorbing.

Jules Grant – We Go Around in the Night and are Consumed by Fire (Myriad Editions – 1 October 2017)

An unflinching, hard hitting and at times startlingly tender gangster novel set in Manchester.   Powerfully written and convincingly representing its women characters, with flawless attention to the narrative voice of the two leads. A fascinating and refreshingly original gangster story, brimming with energy.

John Hart – Redemption Road (Hodder & Stoughton – 3 May 2016)

Hart builds a convincing and complex picture of an American community in crisis, pulsing with atmosphere and throbbing tension. Offbeat and uncomfortable in its reflection of society and urgent but insightful in its dealings with contemporary race relations, this is a truly modern thriller steeped in suspense.

Mick Herron – Spook Street (John Murray – 9 February 2017)

The most vividly written spy fiction since Le Carré, written in a distinctive and idiosyncratic style blending bitter comedy with moments of chilling unease. Pleasingly unique, with intelligently drawn characters plunged into a world where the mythical past of spycraft meets bleak, blunt reality.

William Ryan – The Constant Soldier – (Mantle – 25/8/2016)

Lyrical and yet gripping writing exploring guilt, fear, identity and how people act in time of war.   Evocative period detail with a range of superbly etched characters full of depth, heart and honesty. Ryan’s story is beautifully written and achieves an impressive thoughtfulness in the midst of a necessarily harrowing WW2 narrative.

The winning entry will be announced in October 2017

To read more about the rest of the daggers, click here to visit the CWA website.

To see the longlist of the Steel Dagger Award this year click here.