The Macallan Gold and Silver Daggers for Fiction 2001

Henning Mankell wins Gold and Giles Blunt wins Silver

The 2001 winners of The Macallan Daggers, the leading awards for literary crime fiction in the UK, were announced on Friday 16th November 2001.

HENNING MANKELL, a well-established novelist in his native Sweden, wins The Macallan Gold Dagger for Fiction and a cheque for £3000 with his novel Sidetracked (The Harvill Press), the tenth title in his acclaimed Kurt Wallander series. Mankell was born in Stockholm in 1948; his work has been translated into 19 languages. Sidetracked was translated from the Swedish by Steven T. Murray.

GILES BLUNT is the winner of The Macallan Silver Dagger for Fiction with his atmospheric second novel, Forty Words for Sorrow (HarperCollins). Blunt, who wins a cheque for £2000, is Canadian and lives in New York. He has previously written one novel, Cold Eye, and scripts for Law and Order, Street Legal and Night Heat.

The Macallan Dagger The Macallan Daggers are sponsored by The Macallan, distillers of the finest Single Highland Malt Whisky, in association with the Crime Writers' Association.
The Gold and Silver Daggers were founded by The Crime Writers' Association in 1956. The CWA continue to manage the awards today.

This year's shortlist was selected from 146 eligible books that were submitted. It is an eclectic mix of styles and subject matter. Four are set in different countries; policemen are the main characters in three; two are first novels; there is one female author. The other books on the shortlist were:

Stephen Booth: Dancing with the Virgins (HarperCollins)
Denise Danks: Baby Love (Orion)
George P Pelecanos: Right as Rain (Orion)
Scott Phillips: The Ice Harvest, (Picador)

Sidetracked Henning Mankell: Sidetracked translated from the Swedish by Steven T. Murray. (Harvill)

Well-established in his own language, where this is one in an acclaimed series, this is a wonderful discovery from outside the Anglo-American scene. Henning Mankell gives a brilliantly evocative portrait of contemporary Sweden, in a convincing translation. Kurt Wallander is a policeman with a colourful past, a protagonist of great humanity whose crime solving is believably set against the ordinary details of daily life. The plotting is tight, the domestic relationships well drawn, the subject topical.

HENNING MANKELL was born in Stockholm. He has written nine previous novels in the Kurt Wallander series, and has worked as an actor, theatre director and manager in Sweden and Mozambique, where he now lives.

Giles Blunt: Forty Words For Sorrow (HarperCollins)

An atmospheric story set in a Canadian small town, where the pitiless cold is a running thread. John Cardinal is a policeman suspected of corruption and pilloried by himself for his past actions. As he and his female partner investigate a series of squalid murders, he suspects she is investigating him, in a climate rich with moral ambiguity.

GILES BLUNT spent his childhood in North Bay, Ontario and now lives in New York. He has previously written scripts for Law and Order, Street Legal and Night Heat. Forty Words for Sorrow is his second novel.

Stephen Booth: Dancing with the Virgins (HarperCollins)

Gritty Derbyshire policeman, Ben Cooper, has to handle his failed relationship with his former lover Diane Fry, a black-belt fellow officer, as she struggles to unlock a witness's memory while they tackle a series of ritual killings carried out at an ancient stone circle in a remote part of the Peak District, the Nine Virgins.

STEPHEN BOOTH was a newspaper journalist in the Pennines before writing his first novel Black Dog. Dancing with the Virgins is the sequel. Stephen Booth lives in Nottinghamshire.

Denise Danks: Baby Love (Orion)

This, the ultimate computing novel, has parallels with Hitchcock's film, 'Rear Window', as the heroine solves a series of killings entirely from her own flat, tied to her PC by post traumatic stress and agoraphobia. Set against the evocative background of the Regent's Park Canal, this is a savage story that does not flinch from showing the authentic underbelly of modern society.

DENISE DANKS is a journalist and screenwriter. She is the only female winner of the Raymond Chandler Fulbright Award 1994-5 for most promising young crime fiction writer and was shortlisted for The Macallan Gold Dagger in 1999. Baby Love is her sixth novel featuring Georgina Powers. Denise Danks lives in London.

George P Pelecanos: Right as Rain (Orion)

A sophisticated examination of racial tension in Washington as the hero Derek Strange, a middle-aged black ex-cop private eye, is drawn into working with a younger white cop who has killed an off-duty colleague. This is a fast-paced story of male friendship set against the conflicts of drug and redneck culture.

GEORGE P PELECANOS is a screenwriter, independent film producer, award winning journalist and author of nine novels set in Washington. He lives in Washington DC with his wife and three children.

Scott Phillips: The Ice Harvest, (Picador)

A cocaine-sniffing lawyer from Wichita, Charlie Arglist, goes north to investigate the murders of two schoolgirls on a snowy Christmas Eve. A nightmarish journey, told with stylist black humour, the judges particularly praised the book's dazzling twists of plot.

SCOTT PHILLIPS is a young Hollywood scriptwriter, now living in California. He spent much of his twenties and early thirties in Paris working as a teacher and translator. The Ice Harvest is his first novel.