However, that kind of changed a couple of weeks ago, when I saw John Hart's THE LAST CHILD recently win the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for Best Thriller. When I was looking at the Dagger results, I recognised this title as one of the dozens sitting slightly neglected in my far-too-big TBR pile.
Before the win, it was just one of many books from authors new to me, that I'd not yet read. Because of the win, I paid a little more attention to it, found out a bit about Hart and his writing, was intrigued by the North Carolina attorney-turned-author and his storylines, and decided to jump THE LAST CHILD to the top of the TBR pile.
So although I'd still perhaps argue I didn't read it just because it won (rather I read it because of information I found out about it, that I admittedly only paid more attention to because of the publicity around it winning), its win did lead to me reading it sooner than I otherwise might have.
I really enjoyed THE LAST CHILD, and will be contributing some very positive reviews of it to a couple of publications I write for in various countries. So I am very glad my attention got turned its way.
I have friends who constantly scour the awards shortlists (not just in crime) to decide what books they will buy/read (even restricting themselves solely to 'awards winners' or 'shortlistees'). I've never been like that, but my experience certainly adds to the thought that often there are many, many quality writers out there that readers will enjoy - it's just a matter of some publicity turning a reader's attention towards that particular (hitherto unknown to them) author and their work.
What about you? Do you consciously read (or avoid) award-winning crime novels. How have you 'discovered' a new author that you've ended up really enjoying? What are your thoughts on crime-writing (and other literary) awards?