Earlier this spring Barbara Conaty, my go-to reviewer for spy fiction, praised British author Mick Herron’s latest novel, Dead Lions, for “bringing a fresh and puckish eye to espionage and crime, leaving behind the stodgy staples.” The judges of Britain’s CWA Dagger Awards obviously agreed with Conaty’s assessment. Awarding Herron the CWA 2013 Goldsboro Gold Dagger for the best crime novel of the year, they lauded this sequel to the acclaimed Slow Horses as ” a well written, wickedly clever send-up of the classic British spy novel.” For people who think they don’t like espionage fiction, they may change their minds after reading this lively tale of three disgraced M15 agents seeking redemption as they untangle two twisty plots. Kudos to Soho Crime for picking a winner!
Other winners announced at the Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards 2013 on October 24 included 23-year-old Roger Hobbs, who was honored with the CWA 2013 Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for best thriller of the year for his debut novel Ghostman. And newcomer Derek B. MIller took the CWA 2013 John Creasey Dagger, for best new crime writer of the year. The judges cited Miller’s chase thriller about an octogenarian former sniper, Norwegian by Night, as a “beautifully-written contribution to Nordic noir with a twist.”