CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger 2020 – The Winner!

We are delighted to announce that this year’s Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award goes to Lou Berney, for his evocative thriller, November Road.

Here’s what the judges had to say:

November Road is an extraordinary piece of writing. Weaving together a love story and a chase thriller set against the backdrop of JFK’s assassination, Lou Berney’s sparse prose creates a tense atmosphere of jeopardy and terror interwoven with great tenderness and beauty. The period setting is skilfully realised, and the characters complex and utterly believable in this perfectly pitched story of personal redemption and renewal. November Road is a worthy winner of this year’s Ian Fleming Steel Dagger – it is a beautifully-crafted thriller that draws the reader relentlessly in, as the sense of dread laced throughout builds to an overwhelming conclusion. 

November Road was also highly commended in the Gold Dagger category for best crime novel.

Linda Stratmann, Chair of the Crime Writers’ Association, said: “One thing the pandemic and lockdown has taught us is the value and importance of books and storytelling – for escapism and comfort and for our well-being. Books have always been the conduit to other worlds and into other lives. They let us know we are not alone, so our 2020 virtual awards feel even more significant as many vulnerable people are in enforced isolation and we are all socially distancing. We’re proud to celebrate the crime genre.”

The winners were announced during a live virtual ceremony hosted by one of the UK’s leading experts on crime fiction, the writer and reviewer Barry Forshaw. The evening also featured guest speaker, Richard Osman. To see the full list of winners, visit

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