Smith Henderson, Karin Slaughter and Michael Robotham have won the final CWA Dagger Awards for 2015.
The reception for the awards took place last night (29th September) at Malmaison in London, hosted by Barry Forshaw.
Authors attending the awards included Paula Hawkins, Kate Hamer, and J K Rowling, attending as Robert Galbraith.
Henderson won the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger for his novel Fourth Of July Creek (William Heinemann). Jason Arthur, publisher at William Heinemann, accepted the award on Henderson’s behalf.
The judges said of the book: "A powerful evocation of the rural America time has forgotten and the casualties in its wake. Both harrowing and life enhancing, a towering achievement and insight into a world many of us would rather ignore."
Slaughter was awarded the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for the best thriller story for Cop Town (Century). Cornerstone m.d. Susan Sandon accepted the award on behalf of Slaughter. This Dagger is presented to the best thriller story of the year. The judges said: "The judges loved this fascinating story filled to the brim with rich and evocative period detail of Atlanta in 1974. The judges found the characters to be instantly real, engaging well-drawn and convincing helping the reader to be pulled through this dark and twisted story to the very end."
Robotham won the CWA Goldsboro Gold Dagger, awarded for the best crime novel of the year, for his book Life or Death (Sphere).
The judges said: "When you start reading Life or Death, you'll want to stay curled up in an armchair with one of the best thrillers you'll read this year. This is a compelling and fascinating book."
In his acceptance speech Robotham paid tribute to his late mother, and said her reaction upon reading his first ever novel was to say: “It took me a while to get into, but then I did.”
CWA chair Len Tyler said: "This has been a simply wonderful year for the crime fiction genre and our judges were incredibly impressed by the standard of the entries."
Goldsboro Books' Harry Illingworth with J K Rowling.