Daggers are coming out
THE latest and third in Sanderson’s procedurals based in pre-war London featuring reporter John Steadman and DC Matt Turner after the gripping Snow Hill and The Whispering Gallery. It’s 1938 and this murder investigation is set against a backdrop of rising antiSemitism and escalating violence in Nazi Germany. The UK-based Crime Writers’ Association announces its Daggers long-list this evening. Simply put, this is the world’s best crime writing of the last year in English. Deon Meyer’s Cobra is in the running for an International Dagger, with Leif GW Persson’s Falling Freely, As If In A Dream , Pierre Lemaitre’s Camille , Andreas Norman’s Into a Raging Blaze, Dolores Redondo’s The Invisible Guardian and Karim Miské’s Arab Jazz.
The Gold Dagger long-list for the association’s novel of the year includes Belinda Bauer’s The Shut Eye, James Carlos Blake’s The Rules of Wolfe, Sam Hawken’s Missing, Paul Mendelson’s The Serpentine Road, Attica Locke’s Pleasantville, Michael Robotham’s Life or Death, MJ McGrath’s The Bone Seeker, Peter Swanson’s The Kind Worth Killing and Stephen King’s Mr Mercedes. The short-list for the Ian Fleming Silver Dagger, for thrillers and spy novels, includes Harlen Coben’s The Stranger, Steve Cavanagh’s The Defence, Linwood Barclay’s No Safe House, Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train, and Karin Slaughter’s Cop Town.
Entries for the John Creasey Dagger for best debut include Celeste Ng’s Everything I Never Told You, Smith Henderson’s Fourth of July Creek, Elizabeth Little’s Dear Daughter, Paul E Hardisty’s The Abrupt Physics of Dying and Tom Bouman’s Dry Bones in the Valley. The long-list for the Endeavour Historical Dagger for (natch) historical crime includes Martin Davies’ Havana Sleeping and CJ Sansom’s Lamentation. Catherine Aird, author of the CD Sloan mysteries, is this year’s Diamond Dagger winner for her long career. For more details see thecwa.co.uk. We’ll be on Mars by 2027. So says the science writer Stephen Petranek, who has written a brief book about it, How We’ll Live On Mars. It’s published by Simon & Schuster’s TED imprint — you know, the people who do the YouTube lectures — so it has a sort of visionary urgency that’s catnip to techno-nerds. Petranek claims that the race to the red planet will be led by the mega rich — Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Sir Richard Branson and the like. Not only will the colonisation of Mars save the human race from extinction but we will be able to mine it for rare metals to make fancy smartphones. All very intriguing, but there’s invariably little discussion about the return journey. Just a nagging thought. “We deserve better songs than any boy will ever write about us.” – The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic by Jessica Hopper (Featherproof)