Two Blake Friedmann crime writers feature on the CWA’s Dagger prize longlists, announced at Crimefest this month. Tim Baker's FEVER CITY has been longlisted for the John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger, for the best UK-published crime novel by a debut author of any nationality. ICARUS by Deon Meyer, has been longlisted for the CWA International Dagger for crime novels, in translation, alongside his translator K.L. Seegers. This is Deon Meyer’s third appearance on the International Dagger list – THIRTEEN HOURS was shortlisted in 2011 and COBRA was shortlisted in 2015.
The winners of the prize will be announced at Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Festival in Harrogate this July. Other longlisted authors include Otessa Moshfegh, Jax Miller and Matt Johson on the John Creasey Dagger and Hideo Yokoyama, Johann Theorin and Pierre Lemaitre on the International Dagger. The full longlist for the John Creasey is here, and the International Dagger here.
FEVER CITY is a searing counter-factual conspiracy thriller with three intertwining narratives. Nick Alston, a Los Angeles private investigator, is hired to find the kidnapped son of America's richest and most hated man; Hastings, a gun-for-hire in search of redemption, is also linked to the case. But both men soon become ensnared by a sinister cabal that spreads from the White House all the way to Dealey Plaza and the assassination on JFK. Decades later in Dallas, Alston's son stumbles across evidence from JFK conspiracy buffs that just might link his father to the shot heard round the world. FEVER CITY is a high-octane, nightmare journey through a Mad Men-era America of dark powers, corruption and conspiracy.
ICARUS witnesses the return of Meyer’s popular police detective character Benny Griessel, struggling to stay sober, and bruised by a colleague’s terrible suicide. Yet the discovery of a body buried beneath the sand dunes north of Cape Town will test his willpower even further. Why was notorious Ernst Richter, MD of a new tech startup, Alibi targeted? How exactly is a service that creates false appointments, documents and phone calls to enable people to cheat on their partners, linked to this high profile murder? With all eyes on Benny’s pursuit to uncover the truth, he will battle not just to track down the killer, but against the siren call of the whiskey bottle as well.
Praise for FEVER CITY:
‘Dense and complicated thriller with a fictional crime at its heart delves into the JFK assassination with walk-on parts for real-life figures from Marilyn Monroe to Richard Nixon. Half a century on from Dallas, the son of a 1960s LA private detective tries to piece it all together. An inventive take on the great American conspiracy theory...’ – The Sunday Times, Crime Club Newsletter January Picks 2016
'Tim Baker paints a lurid, sinister portrait of mid-century America, skilfully layering fact and fiction in a way that will forever change the way you think about the Kennedy assassination. An impressive debut.' – Peter Swanson
Praise for ICARUS and Deon Meyer:
‘Deon Meyer is not just South Africa’s greatest crime writer, he’s up there with the best in the world.’ —Marcel Berlins, The Times
‘Excellent … The richness of the characters, especially the multifaceted Benny, elevates this above most contemporary police procedurals.’ – Publisher’s Weekly, Starred Review
Deon Meyer’s Benny Griessel series is one of the high points of contemporary crime fiction, and the fifth title, ICARUS is his best yet….an expertly engineered tale of sex, lies and fraud.’ Laura Wilson, The Guardian, Crime Fiction Roundup 2015