THE CWA's 2004 Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award

Jeffery Deaver wins with Garden of Beasts

At the CWA awards lunch Zoë Watkins of Ian Fleming Publications Ltd presented Jeffery Deaver with a cheque for £2000 and the Steel Dagger, for his novel Garden of Beasts, published by Hodder & Stoughton. The Crime Writers' Association Ian Fleming Steel Dagger is awarded for the best adventure/thriller novel in the vein of James Bond. The award is sponsored by the Fleming Estate.

Jeffery Deaver was also the winner of the CWA Short Story Dagger.

Jeffery Deaver - Garden of Beasts - Hodder & Stoughton

The cover of 'Garden of Beasts'
Jeffery Deaver

'Cat and mouse chase through Berlin in the run up to the 1936 Olympics. Evocative of the period, unrelenting pace with a tension that never lets up. This is a new departure for Deaver which keeps his trademark twists. A real page-turner.'

Paul Schumann, a German-American living in New York in 1936, is a hit-man known for his brilliant tactics and for taking only 'righteous' jobs. But when a hit goes wrong and Schumann is nabbed, he's offered a stark choice: kill Reinhard Ernst, the man behind Hitler's rearmament scheme and walk free forever, or be sent to Sing-Sing and the electric chair. Set in Berlin in the year of the pre-war Olympics, the novel is packed with fascinating period detail. There is plenty of action as Schumann stalks Ernst and is himself pursued by the entire Third Reich security apparatus.

Jeffrey Deaver was born in Chicago, attended the University of Missouri and received his law degree from Fordham University, New York. In 1990, he quit practising law to write full-time and is the author of 14 suspense novels in a dozen languages. He lives in California and Virginia.

Of the other shortlisted titles (listed below in alphabetical order of the author's name) a special mention went to Joseph Finder's Paranoia (Orion).

Dan Fesperman - The Warlord's Son - Transworld
'Many strands to this beautifully written thriller set in the mountains of Afghanistan. Journalist Fesperman brings authenticity to his account.'

Joseph Finder - Paranoia - Orion
'Industrial espionage in a high-tech environment which Q would envy is the basis for this fresh and engrossing thriller. Exciting to the very last line.'

Mo Hayder - Tokyo - Transworld
'A horrific incident in Nanking in 1937 has disturbing reverberations in the present day hostess bars of Tokyo haunted by grotesque villains in the Fleming tradition. Hayder's most ambitious work yet.'

Stephen Leather - Hard Landing - Hodder & Stoughton
'A tale of human Bond-age. Undercover cop in claustrophobic, uncompromising prison thriller. Sustained pace and gripping plot.'

Adrian McKinty - Dead I May Well Be - Serpent's Tail
'Set among Irish gangsters in 1980's New York and Mexico, this tough, noir-ish novel is written with lyrical flair.'

Daniel Silva - The Confessor - Penguin
'Political machinations aplenty in a riveting, electrifying thriller set against a backdrop of Papal intrigue. Reminiscent of Forsyth and Innes at their best.'

Judging Panel

Zoë Watkins (Chair) - publications' manager who works for Ian Fleming publications.
Kate Grimond - member of the Fleming family, a director of Ian Fleming publications and reviews books regularly for the Economist and the Spectator.
Peter Guttridge - a writer who has published five novels, and who reviews crime fiction for the Observer and other publications.
Richard Reynolds - a bookseller who organises regular events for readers of crime fiction, including the annual Bodies in the Bookshop in Cambridge.
David Wilson - works for the film company Eon Productions Ltd in London.