Steel Dagger Shortlist 2016

Today we’re one step closer to announcing the winner of the Steel Dagger Award 2016.

The Judges have convened, the thrillers have thoroughly thrilled, and the shortlist of 5 ascends from the final 10. Here they are, in alphabetical order by author’s surname:


Make Me


Make Me, Lee Child – Bantam Press

In the twentieth book of a series, it’s difficult to do new things. But Lee Child keeps the franchise fresh as his invincible protagonist Jack Reacher finds himself adrift in a small town on the prairie. After a disquieting, sinister, noir-esque opening, Child’s novel builds into a modern neo-gothic humdinger which can be read and enjoyed on multiple cognitive levels.





Real Tigers


Real Tigers, Mick Herron – John Murray

Witty, sardonic, fast-paced, lethally comic thriller satirising politics, conspiracy theories and introverted intelligence. It is satisfying at every turn, a beautifully written combination of clever commentary and sincere, even bleak, narrative peaks. Always significant: Real Tigers has a genuinely thrilling denouement.





Rain Dogs


Rain Dogs, Adrian McKinty – Serpent’s Tail

Post-Troubles Northern Irish crime fiction is one of the most intriguing new sub-genres and McKinty is a star of it. Rain Dogs powerfully reflects a sense of the contemporary crisis of authority in the establishment, rendered darkly enjoyable through the author’s sharp wit. The well-realised protagonist Sean Duffy shines amidst a conspiracy that is not only believable but nastily authentic.




The English Spy



The English Spy, Daniel Silva – HarperCollins

A rollicking international espionage caper, this royal conspiracy thriller is violent and intense, though not without class. Silva pits his legendary spy Gabriel Allon against a truly villainous opponent and excels in delivering a worldwide tour de force; escapist entertainment of the very highest order.




The Cartel


The Cartel, Don Winslow – William Heinemann

A viscerally realistic report from the drug wars in early 2000s Mexico. Brutally authentic and immersive, this thriller is a powerful enough achievement as a gripping fact-driven narrative, but transcends as fiction through Winslow’s taut portrayal of a violent revenger’s tragedy.





Click on the picture below to visit the Crime Writers Association website for more information on the award, and purchasing links for the books.

Steel Dagger Shortlist featim

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