2020 Dagger Awards Long List

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The Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) of the United Kingdom has announced its longlist for the 2020 Dagger Awards.

The winners, announced in October 2020, are indicated in red.
I’m not necessarily impressed by awards, but I love nomination lists as a source of new books to read.
I am impressed when a writer and novel – Abir Mukherjee’s DEATH IN THE EAST, Lucy Foley’s THE GUEST LIST or Lou Berney’s NOVEMBER ROAD, for example – show up repeatedly in awards nominations.
These awards recognize the best crime writing, both fiction and nonfiction, published in the UK. Winners won’t be announced until Oct. 22, giving you plenty of time to check out these nominees for best crime fiction published in the UK.
Categories recognized include the best crime novel of the year, best thriller, best debut novel, best historical crime writing and best crime publisher.

GOLD DAGGER for best crime novel by an author of any nationality. Originally created in 1955 as the Crossed Red Herrings Award, it was renamed the Gold Dagger in 1960.

  • Claire Askew: WHAT YOU PAY FOR (Hodder & Stoughton)
  • Gary Bell: BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT (Raven Books)
  • Lou Berney: NOVEMBER ROAD (Harper Fiction)
  • MW Craven: BLACK SUMMER (Constable)
  • John Fairfax: FORCED CONFESSIONS (Little, Brown)
  • Lucy Foley: THE GUEST LIST (Harper Fiction)
  • Elly Griffiths: THE LANTERN MEN (Quercus Fiction), author of STRANGER DIARIES and THE CROSSING PLACES.
  • Chris Hammer: SILVER (Wildfire), author of SCRUBLANDS
  • Mick Herron: JOE COUNTRY (John Murray)
  • SG MacLean: THE BEAR PIT (Quercus Fiction)
  • Patrick McGuinness: THROW ME TO THE WOLVES (Jonathan Cape)
  • Abir Mukherjee: DEATH IN THE EAST (Harvill Secker)
  • Alex North: THE WHISPER MAN (Michael Joseph)
  • Scott Phillips: THAT LEFT TURN AT ALBUQUERQUE (Soho Crime)
  • Michael Robotham: GOOD GIRL, BAD GIRL (Sphere)
  • Tim Weaver: NO ONE HOME (Michael Joseph)


IAN FLEMING STEEL DAGGER for best thriller, including spy fiction, psychological thrillers and action and adventure stories set in any period.
  • Lou Berney: NOVEMBER ROAD (Harper Fiction)
  • Tom Chatfield: THIS IS GOMORRAH (Hodder & Stoughton)
  • Karen Cleveland: KEEP YOU CLOSE (Bantam Press)
  • AA Dhand: ONE WAY OUT (Bantam Press)
  • Eva Dolan: BETWEEN TWO EVILS (Raven Books)
  • Helen Fields: PERFECT KILL (Avon)
  • Oliver Harris: A SHADOW INTELLIGENCE (Little, Brown)
  • Peter Heller: THE RIVER (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
  • Greg Iles: CEMETERY ROAD (Harper Fiction)
  • David Koepp: COLD STORAGE (HQ)
  • Adrian McKinty: THE CHAIN (Orion Fiction)
  • Alex North: THE WHISPER MAN (Michael Joseph)
  • Andrew Taylor: THE KING’S EVIL (Harper Fiction)


JOHN CREASEY (NEW BLOOD) DAGGER for best crime novel by a first-time author of any nationality.

  • Steph Cha: YOUR HOUSE WILL PAY (Faber & Faber)
  • Sherryl Clark: TRUST ME, I’M DEAD (Verve Books)
  • Samantha Downing: MY LOVELY WIFE(Michael Joseph)
  • Philippa East: LITTLE WHITE LIES (HQ)
  • Andrew James Greig: WHIRLIGIG (Fledgling Press)
  • AS Hatch: THIS DARK LITTLE PLACE (Serpent’s Tail)
  • James Von Leyden: A DEATH IN THE MEDINA (Constable)
  • Deborah Masson: HOLD YOUR TONGUE (Corgi)
  • Owen Matthews: BLACK SUN (Bantam Press)
  • Felicity McLean: THE VAN APFEL GIRLS ARE GONE (Point Blank)
  • Robin Morgan-Bentley: THE WRECKAGE (Trapeze)
  • Trevor Wood: THE MAN ON THE STREET (Quercus Fiction)



SAPERE BOOKS HISTORICAL DAGGER for the best historical crime novel, set in any period up to 50 years prior to the year in which the award will be made.

  • Alis Hawkins: IN TWO MINDS (The Dome Press)
  • Philip Kerr: METROPOLIS (Quercus Fiction)
  • SG MacLean: THE BEAR PIT (Quercus Fiction)
  • Abir Mukherjee: DEATH IN THE EAST (Harvill Secker)
  • SW Perry: THE SERPENT’S MARK (Corvus)
  • Alex Reeve: THE ANARCHISTS’ CLUB (Raven Books)
  • Gareth Rubin: LIBERATION SQUARE (Michael Joseph)
  • SD Sykes: THE BONE FIRE (Hodder & Stoughton)
  • Andrew Taylor: THE KING’S EVIL (Harper Collins)
  • Lynne Truss: THE MAN THAT GOT AWAY (Raven Books)
  • Nicola Upson: SORRY FOR THE DEAD (Faber & Faber)
  • Ovidia Yu: THE PAPER BARK TREE Mystery (Constable)


CRIME FICTION IN TRANSLATION DAGGER for a crime novel not originally written in English and which has been translated into English for UK publication.
  • Edoardo Albinati: THE CATHOLIC SCHOOL, translated by Anthony Shugaar (Picador)
  • Marion Brunet: SUMMER OF RECKONING, translated by Katherine Gregor (Bitter Lemon Press)
  • Hannelore Cayre: THE GODMOTHER, translated by Stephanie Smee (Old Street Publishing)
  • K Ferrari: LIKE FLIES FROM AFAR, translated by Adrian Nathan West (Canongate Books)
  • Jorge Galán: NOVEMBER, translated by Jason Wilson (Constable)
  • Johana Gustawsson: BLOOD SONG, translated by David Warriner (Orenda Books)
  • Jørn Lier Horst: THE CABIN, translated by Anne Bruce (Michael Joseph), who also wrote The Hunting Dogs
  • Sergio Olguin: THE FRAGILITY OF BODIES, translated by Miranda France (Bitter Lemon Press)
  • Leonardo Padura: GRAB A SNAKE BY THE TAIL, translated by Peter Bush (Bitter Lemon Press)
  • Antti Tuomainen: LITTLE SIBERIA, translated by David Hackston (Orenda Books)


SHORT STORY DAGGER for any crime short story first published in the UK in English in a publication that pays for contributions, or broadcast in the UK in return for payment.

  • Fiona Cummins: “Dead Weight” in Exit Wounds, edited by Paul B Kane and Marie O’Regan (Titan Books)
  • Jeffery Deaver: “Connecting the Dots” in Invisible Blood, edited by Maxim Jakubowski (Titan Books)
  • Jeffery Deaver: “The Bully” in Exit Wounds, edited by Paul B Kane and Marie O’Regan (Titan Books)
  • Paul Finch: “The New Lad” in Exit Wounds, edited by Paul B Kane and Marie O’Regan (Titan Books)
  • Christopher Fowler: “The Washing” in Invisible Blood, edited by Maxim Jakubowski (Titan Books)
  • Christopher Fowler: “Bryant and May and The Devil’s Triangle” in Bryant and May: England’s Finest (Doubleday)
  • Lauren Henderson: “#Me Too” in Invisible Blood, edited by Maxim Jakubowski (Titan Books)
  • Louise Jensen: “The Recipe” in Exit Wounds, edited by Paul B Kane and Marie O’Regan (Titan Books)
  • Dean Koontz: “Kittens” in Exit Wounds, edited by Paul B Kane and Marie O’Regan (Titan Books)
  • Syd Moore: “Easily Made” in 12 Strange Days of Christmas (Point Blank Press)


ALCS GOLD DAGGER FOR NON-FICTION for any nonfiction work on a crime-related theme by an author of any nationality.

  • Julia Ebner: GOING DARK: THE SECRET SOCIAL LIVES OF EXTREMISTS (Bloomsbury Publishing)
  • Peter Everett: CORRUPT BODIES (Icon Books)
  • Caroline Goode: HONOUR: ACHIEVING JUSTICE FOR BANAZ MAHMOD (Oneworld Publications)
  • Joanna Jolly: RED RIVER GIRL (Virago)
  • Jodi Kantor & Megan Twohey: SHE SAID (Bloomsbury Circus)
  • Sean O’Connor: THE FATAL PASSION OF ALMA RATTENBURY (Simon & Schuster)
  • Fred Vermorel: DEAD FASHION GIRL: A SITUATIONIST DETECTIVE STORY (Strange Attractor Press)


DAGGER IN THE LIBRARY for a body of work by an established crime writer who has long been popular with borrowers from libraries, and who has supported libraries and their users.


DEBUT DAGGER is a competition for best crime novel opening and synopsis as judged by bestselling author Leigh Russell; editor Stephanie Glencross (of Gregory and Company); Bonnier Zaffre Editorial Director Katherine Armstrong and A.M. Heath and Co. literary agency director Oli Munson.

  • Barbara Austin: LOWLANDS
  • Anna Caig: THE SPAE-WIFE
  • Loraine Fowlow: UNDERCUT
  • Leanne Fry: WHIPSTICK
  • Kim Hays: PESTICIDE
  • Jack Kapica: BLOGGER’S END
  • Nicholas Morrish: EMERGENCY DRILL
  • Josephine Moulds: REVOLUTION NEVER LIES
  • Michael Munro: BITTER LAKE
  • Karen Taylor: GRIM FAIRY TALE
  • Jane Wing: DARK PASTIMES
  • Sarah Yarwood-Lovett: A GENERATION OF VIPERS

PUBLISHERS’ DAGGER recognizing the Best Crime and Mystery Publisher of the Year.

  • Allison & Busby
  • Bitter Lemon
  • Harvill Secker
  • Head of Zeus
  • HQ
  • Michael Joseph
  • Orenda
  • Orion
  • Pushkin Vertigo
  • Raven
  • Severn House
  • Sphere


DIAMOND DAGGER awarded every year to an author whose crime-writing career has been marked by sustained excellence, and who has made a significant contribution to the genre. Votes from CWA members go forward to be deliberated on by an independent panel.


Dating back to 1955, when the first Dagger Award went to Winston Graham of POLDARK fame, the Daggers are the longest-running awards in the crime and mystery genre. The Dagger Awards are the longest running awards in the crime and mystery genre.



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