The Duncan Lawrie International Dagger 2008

Dominique Manotti wins with Lorraine Connection

Dominique Manotti

Dominique Manotti; photo © Cornwell Internet

The 2008 Duncan Lawrie International Dagger has been won by Dominique Manotti with Lorraine Connection, translated from the French by Amanda Hopkinson and Ros Schwartz, and published by the EuroCrime imprint of Arcadia Books. The same team were shortlisted two years ago for Dead Horsemeat.

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 translators was presented by Peter Ostacchini, Deputy Managing Director of the sponsors, Duncan Lawrie Private Bank. Unfortunately Dominique Manotti was unable to be present as she has still not recovered from a serious fall from her horse earlier this year, which resulted in multiple fractures. The prize was collected on her behalf by Ros Schwartz, who co-translated the book.

This year as last, 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 Gyles Brandreth. The event began with a drinks reception at 6:30pm, followed by dinner in the ballroom at 7:45pm, before the winners were announced.

Judges’ comments: ‘Manotti seamlessly integrates a fine crime story with French provincial and national politics within the EU then matches it with an equally convincing grip on the characters of her northern landscape.’

Lorraine Connection

Synopsis: A factory owned by the Korean Daewoo group in Pondage, Lorraine, manufactures cathode ray tubes. Working conditions are abysmal, but as it's the only source of employment in this bleak former iron and steel manufacturing region, the workers daren't protest. Until a strike breaks out and there's a fire at the factory. But is it an accident? Autumn 1996, and the Pondage factory is at the centre of a strategic battle being played out in Paris, Brussels and Asia for the takeover of the ailing state-owned electronics giant Thomson. Contrary to expectations, the Matra-Daewoo alliance wins the bid. Rival contender Alcatel believes there's foul play involved and brings in the big guns led by its head of security, former deputy head of the national security service. Intrepid private cop Charles Montoya is called to Lorraine to carry out an investigation, and explosive revelations follow - murders, dirty tricks, blackmail, wheeling and dealing.

Ros Schwartz

Ros Schwartz; Photo
© Cornwell Internet

Dominique Manotti is a professor of nineteenth-century economic history in Paris. She is the author of a number of novels including Rough Trade (winner of the French Crime Writers’ Association Award) and Dead Horsemeat, both published in English by Arcadia Books. Dead Horsemeat was shortlisted for the 2006 Duncan Lawrie International Dagger Award.

Web site: (in French)

Amanda Hopkinson is the Director of the British Centre for Literary Translation at the University of East Anglia. She is also a literary translator from Spanish, French and Portuguese.
Ros Schwartz has translated a wide range of fiction and non-fiction, and regularly publishes articles and gives workshops on the art of translation.


This is the fourth consecutive year that Fred Vargas has featured in these awards. She was shortlisted in 2005 for the last CWA Gold Dagger for Fiction for her novel Seeking Whom He May Devour, translated by David Bellos. Fred Vargas’s The Three Evangelists, and Wash This Blood Clean From My Hand - both translated by Sîan Reynolds - won the 2006 and the 2007 Duncan Lawrie International Dagger, respectively.

The other books on the shortlist were:

Andrea Camilleri (Italy)The Patience of the Spider (Picador, Macmillan) Translated from the Italian by Stephen Sartarelli
Stieg Larsson (Sweden)The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (MacLehose Press, Quercus) Translated from the Swedish by Reg Keeland
Martin Suter (Switzerland)A Deal with the Devil ( EuroCrime, Arcadia Books) Translated from the German by Peter Millar

Follow the link for more details about those shortlisted books, and why the judges chose them:

This year's Duncan Lawrie International Dagger judges

Adrian Muller (non-voting Chair) – organiser of CrimeFest, a new international crime fiction convention being held in Bristol this June. (

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