In Crime HonouredTradition

The CWA Daggers Awards 2020 Longlists are published. Ann Evans tells us who is in the running.

 

Pic CWA logo

CWA logo

If you love your crime stories, then you will be interested to hear that the prestigious Crime Writers’ Association Dagger Awards 2020 Longlists have been announced. These awards honour the very best in the crime writing genre.

The world-famous Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) Daggers are the oldest awards in the genre and have been synonymous with quality crime writing for over half a century. The CWA was founded in 1953 by John Creasey. Its aim being to support, promote and celebrate this most durable, adaptable and successful of genres and the authors who write within it.

 

Pic John Creasey founder of the Crime Writers Association Credit Johncreaseybooks com

John Creasey founder of the Crime Writers Association Credit Johncreaseybooks com

The longlist for the CWA Gold Dagger – the award for best crime novel – sees last year’s winner, MW Craven, return with the second book in his Poe series, Black Summer. Craven is up against stiff competition with established and multi-award-winning authors including Elly Griffiths for The Lantern Men, Mick Herron with Joe Country and Abir Mukherjee’s Death in the East all on the list.

 

Pic M W Cravens latest crime novel

M W Cravens latest crime novel

The Ian Fleming Steel Dagger is famed for showcasing blockbuster thrillers – past winners include Gillian Flynn and Robert Harris. 2020’s longlist is dominated by the new guard of the genre who are now fixtures on the awards’ calendar. It includes AA Dhand for One Way Out, the fourth in his D I Harry Virdee series set in Bradford, The Whisper Man by Alex North – a Richard and Judy book club pick dubbed the biggest thriller of 2019 (also longlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger) – and Eva Dolan with Between Two Evils. Dolan was shortlisted for the Gold Dagger in 2016. Also on the longlist is another coveted Richard and Judy pick, My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing, a riveting psychological suspense described by Marie Claire magazine as ‘the next Gone Girl’.

 

Pic Linda Stratmann

Linda Stratmann

Linda Stratmann, Chair of the Crime Writers’ Association, said: “The CWA Dagger longlists showcase crime authors – established and new – at the top of their game. They reveal the wide and diverse nature of the genre and why it is so hugely relevant. Crime novels, stories and non-fiction can be social commentary, entertainment and escapism, an exploration of human nature and reflections of a nation’s psyche. The talent in these longlists demonstrate why crime is the UK’s most popular and enduring genre. The CWA Dagger awards are unparalleled for their reputation and longevity. We are proud to provide a platform for debut, emerging and established authors, and to honour the very best in crime writing.”

The much-anticipated John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger highlights the best debut novels. Among the new class of 2020 to watch for is Owen Matthews with Black Sun – a Sunday Times Crime Book of the Month dubbed the outstanding, page-turning thriller of 2020. Matthews is up against a similarly praised title, Little White Lies by Philippa East, acclaimed for being an addictive, unputdownable thriller. Trevor Wood, who served in the Royal Navy for 16 years, makes the list with The Man on the Street, set in his home city Newcastle, featuring a homeless veteran grappling with PTSD, dubbed by Lee Child as ‘an instant classic’.

 

Pic Black Sun by Owen Matthews

Black Sun by Owen Matthews

Andrew Taylor and Abir Mukherjee flex their writing muscles appearing in two Dagger categories. Taylor’s The King’s Evil (also up for an Ian Fleming Steel Dagger) and Abir Mukherjee’s Death in the East (also longlisted for the Gold Dagger) are both on the Sapere Books Historical Dagger longlist. They contend with Metropolis, the capstone of a fourteen-book journey through the life of Philip Kerr’s signature character, Bernhard Genther, completed just before Kerr’s untimely death.

The longlist for best historical crime novel also features SG Maclean who won the Dagger last year for Destroying Angel, she returns with The Bear Pit. Lynne Truss is in contention with The Man That Got Away, as is Nicola Upson for Sorry for the Dead and Alis Hawkins for In Two Minds.

 

Pic In Two Minds by Alis Hawkins

In Two Minds by Alis Hawkins

The CWA Daggers are one of the few high-profile awards that honour the short story. The 2020 CWA Short Story Dagger sees giants of the genre go head to head. It features two short stories from Jeffery Deaver – Connecting the Dots and The Bully. He’s up against fellow American Dean Koontz, who hit the headlines for predicting the coronavirus outbreak in his 1981 novel, The Eyes of Darkness. Koontz is on the longlist for his short story, Kittens.

The CWA Dagger shortlist will be announced later in the year before the glittering awards ceremony due to take place on 22 October with guest speaker, the TV presenter turned crime novelist, Richard Osman. The 2020 Diamond Dagger for lifetime achievement, the highest honour in British crime writing, will be awarded to Martin Edwards on the night.

 

Pic Martin Edwards winner of the CWA Diamond Dagger

Martin Edwards winner of the CWA Diamond Dagger

Read the entire longlist and more at: https://thecwa.co.uk/