Hart wins Dagger Award for mystery writing
By Deirdre Parker Smith
John Hart’s book, “The Last Child” has won the Crime Writers’ Association Ian Fleming Steel Dagger award.
The awards, dating to 1955, have honored many famous names in mystery writing, although the British association leans toward British writers.
According to a press release from the CWA, “Ian Fleming said there was one essential criterion for a good thriller ó that ‘one simply has to turn the page.’ ”
Hart’s third novel attracted judges for just that reason. They said “The Last Child,” his third book, was an “accomplished and ambitious piece of Southern Gothic. It is beautifully rendered, with a cast of memorable characters ó full of pathos, atmosphere and mystery. A cracking and original story.”
Cracking, for those us on this side of the pond, translates roughly to “really good” or the bulky “unputdownable.”
The award was handed out in London, where Hart met authors such as Alexander McCall Smith and Harlan Coben and a number of actors who have portrayed favorite mystery characters in TV and film.
The CWA Dagger Awards are the longest established literary awards in the United Kingdom and recognized internationally as a mark of excellence.
William Brodrick won the Gold Dagger for “A Whispered Name.” Johan Theoric, a Swede, won the John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger for “Echoes from the Dead.”
The event was held at the posh Grosvenor House Hotel in London, with guests from around the world. This year, the awards became a partnership with the CWA, Cactus TV and ITV3, British television, which coordinated six weeks of crime and drama programming leading up to the event.
If you happen to be in London on Tuesday, you can see the awards ceremony, hosted by comedian Alan Davies, on ITV3 at 9 p.m. Or check out ITV.com.
And keep your daggers to yourselves, please.