International Dagger winners

The Crime Writers’ Association International Dagger award began in 2006. It is given to a crime novel translated into English for the first time and published in the 12 months preceding the award date in July. The winners are listed here. Click on the book’s title to see my review of it. Click on the words “Judges’ comments” to go to the page listing the shortlisted books, with synopses and judges’ remarks.

2012: Andrea Camilleri for The Potter’s Field, translated from the Italian by Stephen Sartarelli.
Judges’ comments: ‘Camilleri’s Montalbano novels show just how much can be achieved with familiar materials when a writer conveys the sense of life in a recognizable place. He combines characters, plots, and reflections on Italy’s particular social and political problems, with wry—but never bitter—satire. In this novel the late-afternoon shadows lengthen; Montalbano is feeling his age.’

2011: Anders Roslund & Börge Hellström for Three Seconds, translated from the Swedish by Kari Dickson.
Judges’ comments: “The Swedish duo’s usual maverick cop takes a back seat to a riveting exploration of a deniable operation involving an undercover agent deep inside a criminal organisation. Their new character, doomed to betrayal by political manoeuvring, fights for his life with great intelligence and courage.”

2010: Johan Theorin for The Darkest Room, translated from the Swedish by Marlaine Delargy
Judges’ comments: “Four plot strands whorl around the vortex of an unexplained death. It is impossible to reduce this mysterious novel to ghost story, a police procedural or a gothic tale.”

2009: Fred Vargas for The Chalk Circle Man, translated from the French by Siân Reynolds
Judges’ comments: “This first Adamsberg novel is already a remarkable demonstration of Vargas’s ability to open with an odd event and follow it into an unhappy past.”

2008: Dominique Manotti for Lorraine Connection, translated from the French by Amanda Hopkinson and Ros Schwartz
Judges’ comments: “Manotti seamlessly integrates a fine crime story with French provincial and national politics within the EU then matches it with an equally convincing grip on the characters of her northern landscape.”

2007: Fred Vargas for Wash This Blood Clean From My Hand, translated from the French by Siân Reynolds
Judges’ comments: “A stylish return to the shortlist for last year’s inventive winner with another unconventional police procedural.”

2006: Fred Vargas for The Three Evangelists, translated from the French by Siân Reynolds
Judges’ comments: “…A splendid example of French originality, with terrific narrative drive and a very good mystery, too.”

Related links:
Petrona: all posts about the International Dagger, which include links to reviews of many of the eligible books.
Euro Crime: comprehensive list of books eligible for the International Dagger, with links to reviews, for 2013, 2102, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007 and 2006.

7 thoughts on “International Dagger winners

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  2. My two favourites among the winners so far (pre-2012) are Lorraine Connection and The Darkest Room, both excellent and very different from each other.

    • The Potter’s Field is a worthy winner for 2012. If you haven’t read other titles on the 2012 shortlist, I highly recommend Trackers by Deon Meyer and Until Thy Wrath Be Past by Asa Larsson.

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