Shortlisted for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award

As the announcement for this year’s winner of the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger draws closer, we interview each of the shortlisted authors.  In no particular order, we’re starting with last year’s winner, Mick Herron, whose book London Rules is the fifth in the Jackson Lamb series.

How does it feel to be on the shortlist for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger?

It’s always a thrill to be on an award shortlist, and the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger, with all the associations such an eminent name carries, is a very special one indeed. And, being in the happy position of having won one before, I can assure you the Dagger looks very nice on a bookshelf.


If you could summarise London Rules in ten words, what would you say?

If I could summarise it in ten words, I’d have written a haiku instead of a novel. But I suppose I’d go with something like: “Guns, penguins, Brexit, paint, sad spies, yellow cars, more guns.”


What’s your writing process – do you jump straight in, or plan and plot first?

I plan and plot a bit, but there are always so many gaps that need filling in that it feels like I’ve jumped straight in.


Which thriller writers do you most admire?

Hypocritical as it may seem in the context, I hate narrowing my enthusiasms down to a shortlist … But here goes. The thriller I’ve enjoyed most in recent months is Manda Scott’s A Treachery of Spies. Writers whose new books I save for holiday treats include Tim Weaver, Belinda Bauer and Harry Bingham. And for Greatest Living Thriller Writer, I’d plump for Martin Cruz Smith.


What makes a killer thriller?

Wish I knew! But there’s no formula, I don’t think; just a spark that some writers – like those I’ve just mentioned – seem to have.


The winner of the 2018 CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger will be announced on 25th October.  The other shortlisted authors are Emily Koch, Attica Locke, Colette McBeth, C J Tudor and Don Winslow.  Stay tuned for more quickfire interviews coming soon.

Sign up to
our newsletter


Join our mailing list and we'll keep you up to date with all the news on Ian Fleming's works and legacy, including exclusive events, special editions and exciting competitions.

Ian Fleming Publications Ltd emails are completely free to receive and you can unsubscribe at any time via the link in any email we send you. For information please take a look at our Privacy Notice.