The Duncan Lawrie International Dagger
Fred Vargas and Sîan Reynolds win again
Last year's winning team of writer Fred Vargas and translator Sîan Reynolds have triumphed again in the 2007 Duncan Lawrie International Dagger, this time with Wash this Blood Clean from my Hand. Our photograph shows Fred Vargas with CWA chair Philip Gooden at the 2007 awards ceremony.
This Dagger is awarded for crime, thriller, suspense novels or spy fiction which have been translated into English from their original language, for UK publication. The Dagger and cheque for £5000 prize money for the author and £1000 for the translator was presented by Peter Ostacchini, Deputy Managing Director of the sponsors, Duncan Lawrie Private Bank.
This year, the CWA and Duncan Lawrie Dagger Awards were presented at a black tie dinner at the elegant Four Seasons Hotel on Park Lane in London, in the presence of the guest of honour Bob Marshall-Andrews, QC, MP. The event began with a drinks reception at 6:30pm, followed by dinner in the ballroom at 7:45pm, before the winners were announced.
Fred Vargas is the pseudonym of Frédérique Audouin-Rouzeau, who was born in 1957 in Paris (Fred is not unusual in France as an abbreviation of this feminine name). As well as being a best-selling author in France, she is by training a mediaeval archaeologist. This is the third year running that she has featured in these awards: her novel Seeking Whom He May Devour (L'homme à l'envers, translated by David Bellos) was short-listed in 2005 for the last Gold Dagger award. Her books have been translated into thirty-two languages.
Sîan Reynolds is Professor of French at the University of Stirling. She has written several academic texts and her translations from the French include books by Fernand Braudel and Claude Lévi-Strauss. She lives in Edinburgh.
Wash this Blood Clean from my Hand
Translated from the French by Sîan Reynolds. Original title: Sous les vents de Neptune
Between 1943 and 2003, nine people have been stabbed to death with a most unusual weapon: a trident. In each case, arrests were made, suspects confessed their crime and were sentenced to life in prison. One slightly worrying detail: the presumed murderers lost consciousness during the night of the crime and have no recollection of it. Commissaire Adamsberg is convinced all the murders are the work of one person, the terrifying Judge Fulgence. Years before, Adamsberg's own brother had been the principal suspect in a similar case and avoided prison only thanks to Adamsberg's help. History repeats itself when Adamsberg, who is temporarily based in Quebec for a training mission, is accused of having savagely murdered a young woman he had met. In order to prove his innocence, Adamsberg must go on the run from the Canadian police and find Judge Fulgence.
Judges' comments: ‘A stylish return to the shortlist for last year’s inventive winner with another unconventional police procedural.’
The other shortlisted authors are listed below. See the shortlists page for more information about them.
|Karin Alvtegen (Sweden)||Shame (Canongate)||Translated by Steven T. Murray|
|Christian Jungersen (Denmark)||The Exception (Weidenfeld & Nicholson)||Translated by Anna Paterson|
|Yasmina Khadra (Algeria)||The Attack (William Heinemann)||Translated by John Cullen|
|Åsa Larsson (Sweden)||The Savage Altar (Viking)||Translated by Marlaine Delargy|
|Jo Nesbø (Norway)||The Redbreast (Harvill Secker)||Translated by Don Bartlett|
This year's Duncan Lawrie International Dagger judges
Adrian Muller (non-voting Chair) – freelance journalist and an events organiser specialising in crime fiction
Peter Guttridge – crime writer and the crime fiction reviewer for the Observer
Ruth Morse – has written about post-colonial crime fiction, and is a reviewer for The Times Literary Supplement
Susanna Yager – the crime fiction reviewer for The Sunday Telegraph