The CWA John Creasey Memorial Dagger 2005

Dreda Say Mitchell wins with Running Hot

Dreda Say Mitchell

Sara Keane of sponsor BBC Audiobooks presented Dreda Say Mitchell (left) with her dagger and £1000 prize money for Running Hot, published by Maia Press. This dagger is awarded for first books by unpublished writers.

quoteAn edgy and exciting read, perfectly capturing the world of inner London, moving, funny and very fast. Elijah Campbell, desperate to leave the underworld and become a chef, becomes trapped in a world of crime and violence.unquote

Running Hot What's the best thing about Hackney? The bus outta here!

And that's exactly where Elijah 'Schoolboy' Campbell needs to be in a week's time, heading out of London's underworld. He's taking a great offer to leave it all behind and start a new life, but the problem is he's got no spare cash. The possibility of lining his pockets becomes real when he stumbles across a mobile phone. But it's marked property, and the Street won't care that he found it by accident. The Street won't care that the phone's his last chance to change his life. And he can't give it back because the door to redemption is only open for 7 days.

7 days to exchange the mobile for cash.
7 days to cut the mobile's line rental to the Faces tracking his every move.
7 days to get out of a world where bling, ringtones and petty deaths are accessories of life.

Schoolboy knows that when you're running hot all it takes is one call, one voicemail, one text to disconnect you from this life - permanently. And getting deeper into his old lifestyle may mean that he never catches that bus ...

Dreda Say Mitchell

Dreda Say Mitchell was born into London's Grenadian community in 1965 and lives in London's East End. She has a degree in African history from The School of Oriental and African Studies and an MA from the University of North London. She has worked as a teacher and education adviser throughout London, specialising in achievement by working-class and black children.

The other shortlisted books were:

The Great Stink

Clare Clark

The Great Stink

Viking Penguin

'Rich and enthralling and well researched, this Victorian novel of corruption and murder below the streets of London, is informative and elegantly written. A leisurely read, the past is so well evoked that the reader can smell it.'


David McKeowen


Hodder & Stoughton

'An interesting study of character, a roller coaster ride of suspense. Modern London is well evoked in this story of a drugs deal that goes horribly wrong. Vivid and edgy.'

Bloody Harvests

Richard Kunzmann

Bloody Harvests


'Set in contemporary South Africa, a tale of detectives investigating muti killings - the exploration of superstition and mythology are very well handled in this dark novel.'