Friday, August 5, 2011

Take your pick: Baldacci, Billingham, Child, James, or Robinson?

On Friday 7th October The ITV/Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards will take place in London’s Grosvenor House Hotel. The event, now into its fourth year, will be broadcast on ITV3 on Tuesday 11th October.

While the winners of several of the Crime Writers Association Daggers, including the International Dagger, were announced at the recent Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate, the biggest awards - the Gold Dagger, the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger, and the New Blood Dagger - will be presented at the Crime Thriller Awards on 7 October. The night also sees the presentation of several television/film crime and thriller awards, for the best actor, actress, supporting actor, supporting actress, best TV, best international TV and best film.

Before then however, we can all have our say on one of the awards to be presented, the ITV People's Bestseller Dagger. This 'people's choice' award began in 2009, with Harlan Coben being the inaugural recipient. I'm struggling to find who won last year (maybe the award wasn't presented?), but it's back again in 2011, with another line-up of five terrific crime writers for the public to vote on:
  • David Baldacci;
  • Mark Billingham;
  • Lee Child;
  • Peter James;
  • Peter Robinson.
That will be a tough choice - all are very popular. I've been fortunate enough to meet Child and James, and have interviewed Robinson and Billingham by phone or email, and have enjoyed books from all four of them. I have some of Baldacci's on my bookshelf, but haven't read him yet.

You can read my 9mm interviews with Billingham here, Child here, and James here.

You can vote for your favourite amongst the five here.

Who is your favourite?


  1. Craig,

    I haven't read anything yet by Child or Baldacci, and I have at least one by James in my TBR bookcase. I've read at least one by Billingham. I think I've read everything by Robinson, except for his last one, so I guess it's fairly obvious whom I voted for.

  2. Baldacci's first couple of books were really good, sadly he then got progressively worse so now churns out bland pap worthy of James Patterson. James, Billingham and Child all started well but have dumbed down as their series progressed. That leaves Robinson, I have only read a couple of his which were quite good, but they were about 10 books ago so I don't have a means to judge his writing these days.

    Of course, they could always go for a good author, but I suppose that would not be seen as sufficiently "commercial". It isn't as if there aren't enough good UK authors to choose from.

  3. Well, it is a 'bestseller' award, and a 'popular choice' award, so it has a different target than all the plethora of other Daggers etc on offer, so I don't have an issue with it.

    You're right Maxine - there are plenty of other good UK writers out there too, but if you're talking about some of the best amongst the biggest-name bestsellers, then this line-up isn't too bad...