A host of famous faces from the TV, Film and Publishing crime scenes gathered on the black carpet for a gala awards ceremony celebrating the very best law-breaking of the year at London's Grosvenor House Hotel. Marcus Brigstocke returned to lead the charge as presenter, in an evening which perfectly topped the six-week build up over the 2011 season documentary series The A-Z of Crime, featuring the shortlisted nominees for the ITV3 People's Bestseller Dagger 2011.
Winners on the night were:
- ITV3 People's Bestseller Dagger 2011: Peter James
- CWA Gold Dagger: Tom Franklin's Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter
- CWA Ian Fleming: Steel Dagger for Best Thriller: Steve Hamilton's The Lock Artist
- CWA John Creasey New Blood Dagger: S.J. Watson's Before I Go To Sleep.
The CWA John Creasey New Blood Dagger was awarded to S.J. Watson, named the best new crime author of the year for Before I Go To Sleep. With the film rights already owned by Ridley Scott we hope to see the film version back to blag the Film Dagger before too long! It was a tough slog to the finish however, and each of the shortlisted authors (Danny Miller for Kiss Me Quick, Sam Hawken for The Dead Woman of Juarez, and Conor Fitzgerald for The Dogs of Rome) are sure to become regular faces on the black carpet.
SJ Watson said: "I'm stunned and delighted! It was such an honour to have been shortlisted for the John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger, but to have actually won, especially when up against such fine books, is incredible!"
Tom Franklin's Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter beat of stiff competition for CWA Gold Dagger from A.D. Miller's Snowdrops, Denise Mina's The End of The Wasp Season, and The Lock Artist by Steve Hamilton, in a fitting climax to the evening. Tom Franklin said: "What an amazing long list! What an amazing short list! I'm truly happy just for the company, and everything else is gravy. All my thanks."
Steve Hamilton did not leave the night empty-handed however - as much like his protagonist Mike who picks locks and breaks safes, The Lock Artist snuck past its rivals to win the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for Best Thriller. The title saw off competition from S.J.Watson's Before I Go To Sleep, The Good Son by Michael Gruber and Craig Smith's Cold Rain.
Steve Hamilton said: "Ian Fleming's work represents everything I've always loved about storytelling, whether it be books or movies. I can't even express how honoured I am to receive an award with his name on it."
ITV3 People's Bestseller Dagger 2011 was given to Peter James. Peter James said: "The is a wonderful award that strikes at the very heart of what good books are all about: Enthralling readers with gripping, page-turning fiction - and decided not by an elite committee but by the very people who read and loved them - the general public. I don't think there can be a higher accolade for any author and I could not be more thrilled."
TV and film are the perfect media for crime fiction, and some of the genre's best-loved detectives - from Marple to Morse - have been immortalised in this way. This year's Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards honoured the stars of the small and silver screens, as well as the films and series they feature in. The nominees included actors Idris Elba, last year's Best Actress Dagger winner Maxine Peake, Brenda Blethyn, Rufus Sewell and Rafe Spall, and the winners are as follows:
- THE TV DAGGER: Case Histories (Ruby Films, BBC One)
- THE INTERNATIONAL TV DAGGER: The Killing, (Arrow Films, BBC4)
- BEST ACTRESS DAGGER: Sofie Gråbøl for The Killing (Arrow Films, BBC4)
- BEST ACTOR DAGGER: Idris Elba for Luther (BBC One) - pictured