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Discover your new favourite crime author with the 2017 Dagger in the Library longlist

Written by · Published Feb 10, 2017

The Backs, The Ashes of London, Little Girl Lost, Dark Tides, Dominion, Written in Bones, The Death Season, The Silent Room, The Death of Lucy Kyte, Faithful Place

The Crime Writers’ Association Dagger in the Library longlist was announced this week. This prize is unusual in two ways. Firstly, rather than being for individual books, this prestigious award goes to an author with a worthy body of work. Secondly, unlike other crime writing awards, the longlist is nominated solely by library staff.

Further to this, reading groups will have a strong influence in who the eventual winner is, which will be announced on June 17 2017. If your reading group would like to get involved, please visit the Reading Groups for Everyone website.

The following titles have been selected by their respective authors as the ones they would most recommend for reading groups. However, as mentioned above, the prize recognises authors’ entire outputs, so you could search our catalogue for the authors’ names instead.

The Backs, by Alison Bruce

“Jane Osborne left Cambridge and vowed she’d never return. An unexpected twist of fortune results in DC Goodhew bringing her back to the remnants of her old life and a confrontation with the man who killed her sister. Meanwhile a burning car on the outskirts of Cambridge leads to the discovery of the body of its owner, Paul Marshall.”

Alison Bruce visited us for Suffolk Libraries Bookfest last year and recently paid us a return visit.

The Ashes of London, by Andrew Taylor

“London, September 1666. The Great Fire rages through the city, consuming everything in its path. Even the impregnable cathedral of St. Paul’s is engulfed in flames and reduced to ruins.

“Among the crowds watching its destruction is James Marwood, son of a disgraced printer, and reluctant government informer. In the aftermath of the fire, a semi-mummified body is discovered in the ashes of St. Paul’s, in a tomb that should have been empty. The man’s body has been mutilated and his thumbs have been tied behind his back. Under orders from the government, Marwood is tasked with hunting down the killer across the devastated city.

“But at a time of dangerous internal dissent and the threat of foreign invasion, Marwood finds his investigation leads him into treacherous waters - and across the path of a determined, beautiful and vengeful young woman.”

Little Girl Lost, by Brian McGilloway

“During a winter blizzard a small girl is found wandering half-naked at the edge of an ancient woodland. Her hands are covered in blood, but it is not her own. Unwilling or unable to speak, the only person she seems to trust is the young officer who rescued her, Detective Sergeant Lucy Black.”

Dark Tides, by Chris Ewan

“When Claire Cooper was eight years old her mother mysteriously vanished during Hop-tu-naa, the Manx Halloween. At 14, Claire is still struggling to come to terms with her disappearance when she’s befriended by a group of five teenagers who mark every Hop-tu-naa by performing dares. But Claire’s arrival begins to alter the group’s dynamic until one year a prank goes terribly wrong, changing all their futures and tearing the friends apart.

“Six years later, one of the friends is killed on Hop-tu-naa in an apparent accident. But Claire, now a police officer, has her doubts. Is a single footprint found near the body a deliberate taunt?”

Dominion, by C. J. Sansom

“1952. Twelve years have passed since Churchill lost to the appeasers and Britain surrendered to Nazi Germany after Dunkirk. As the long German war against Russia rages on in the east, the British people find themselves under dark authoritarian rule: the press, radio and television are controlled; the streets patrolled by violent auxiliary police and British Jews face ever greater constraints. There are terrible rumours too about what is happening in the basement of the German Embassy at Senate House.

“Defiance, though, is growing. In Britain, Winston Churchill’s Resistance organization is increasingly a thorn in the government’s side. And in a Birmingham mental hospital an incarcerated scientist, Frank Muncaster, may hold a secret that could change the balance of the world struggle for ever.

“Civil Servant David Fitzgerald, secretly acting as a spy for the Resistance, is given the mission to rescue his old friend Frank and get him out of the country. Before long he, together with a disparate group of Resistance activists, will find themselves fugitives in the midst of London’s Great Smog, as David’s wife Sarah finds herself drawn into a world more terrifying than she ever could have imagined. And hard on their heels is Gestapo Sturmbannfuhrer Gunther Hoth, brilliant, implacable hunter of men…”

Written in Bones, by James Oswald

“When a body is found in a tree in The Meadows, Edinburgh’s scenic parkland, the forensics suggest the corpse has fallen from a great height. Detective Inspector Tony McLean wonders whether it was an accident, or a murder designed to send a chilling message?”

The Death Season, by Kate Ellis

“When DI Wesley Peterson is summoned to investigate a killing, he assumes that the case is a routine matter. But soon dark secrets and deadly deceptions start to emerge from the victim’s past, and Wesley begins to realise that a simple incident of cold-blooded murder is altogether more calculated and complicated that he could ever imagine.

“Meanwhile, archaeologist Neil Watson is pulled from the historic Paradise Court to a ruined village from the First World War. Even with the help of the attractive and enigmatic Lucy, Neil cannot shake the feeling that something is missing from his explorations: a cryptic clue that might have been lost when Sandrock tumbled into the sea many years ago. A clue that could help Wesley solve his most puzzling case to date.”

The Silent Room, by Mari Hannah

“A security van sets off for Durham prison, a disgraced Special Branch officer in the back. It never arrives. En route it is hijacked by armed men, the prisoner sprung. Suspended from duty on suspicion of aiding and abetting the audacious escape of his former boss, Detective Sergeant Matthew Ryan is locked out of the investigation.

“With a manhunt underway, Ryan is warned to stay away. Keen to preserve his career and prove his innocence, he backs off. But when the official investigation falls apart, under surveillance and with his life in danger, he goes dark, enlisting others in his quest to discover the truth.”

The Death of Lucy Kyte, by Nicola Upson

“When bestselling crime author Josephine Tey inherited a remote Suffolk cottage from her godmother, it came full of secrets. There were the infamous Red Barn murders, committed in the grounds a century before, and still casting a shadow over the village. And there was Lucy Kyte, the mysterious beneficiary of her godmother’s will, who no-one in the close-knit village would admit to knowing.

“As Josephine settles into the strange little house and attempts to make friends with the frightened locals, she knows that there is something dark that has a tight hold on the heart of this small community. Is it just the sinister ghosts of the Red Barn murders, or is there something very much alive that she needs to beware of?”

Faithful Place, by Tana French

“The photo shows a boy who was murdered a year ago. The caption says, ‘I KNOW WHO KILLED HIM’.

“Detective Stephen Moran hasn’t seen Holly Mackey since she was a 9-year-old witness to the events of Faithful Place. Now she’s 16 and she’s shown up outside his squad room, with a photograph and a story. Even in her exclusive boarding school, in the graceful golden world that Stephen has always longed for, bad things happen and people have secrets. The previous year, Christopher Harper, from the neighbouring boys’ school, was found murdered on the grounds. And today, in the Secret Place - the school noticeboard where girls can pin up their secrets anonymously - Holly found the card.”

Alice Violett

Alice Violett

I write and edit content for the Suffolk Libraries website. Visit my website.