International Dagger Shortlist: Which is the best book?

Posted: June 6, 2012 in Book Awards, Harry Hole, Italy, Norway, notes, Scandinavia, South Africa, Sweden

Trackers: Deon Meyer translator K.L.Seegers

The Potter’s Field: Andrea Camilleri translator Stephen Sartarelli

Phantom: Jo Nesbo translator Don Bartlett

Until Thy Wrath Be Past: Asa Larsson translator Laurie Thompson

I Will Have Vengeance: Maurizio De Giovanni translator Anne Milano Appel

The Dark Valley: Valerio Varesi translator Joseph Farrell

This is the official CWA International Dagger Shortlist of which I have now read five out of the six. I am not going to read The Dark Valley as I don’t think it is a contender based on Maxine of Petrona’s excellent review, and my own reading of the first book in the series, River of Shadows.

Of the remaining five books I really enjoyed I Will Have Vengeance, which is also shortlisted for the Ellis Peters Historical Award, and was pleasantly surprised it was shortlisted for the International Dagger. My own personal interests in Italian opera and Italian history [and Italian food] were obviously shared by the judges. 

The Potter’s Field is the best and funniest offering from Andrea Camilleri in the Montalbano series for some time, and perhaps a good outside bet.

Phantom seems to have a big following in the Eurocrime polls, but I was a little disappointed with this one. It lacked the cleverly intertwined plot of Trackers, or the atmospheric feeling and tension of Until Thy Wrath Be Past. I may well be in a minority of one on this, but I will be shocked if a brilliant book like Trackers does not get the recognition and the award it deserves. The result will be announced on the 7 July 2012, along with the Ellis Peters Historical Award. [more on that later in the month]

  1. Norman – Thanks for your thoughts on this. It’ll be very interesting to see if you’re right about Trackers. I have to admit to a certain bias; I like Ǻsa Larsson’s Rebecka Martinsson series very much, so I’d also be delighted to see Until Thy Wrath Be Past. And of course, The Potter’s Field , too… Good thing I’m not one of the judges; I’d have quite a time choosing.

  2. Maxine says:

    I think our views are along the same lines, Norman. I have an idea that Trackers will win, don’t know why – but it would be nice finally to have a winner outside Europe. However I loved Until Thy Wrath and would be delighted if that wins, too.

  3. Norman Price says:

    Until Thy Wrath has a lot going for it especially as I watched the fascinating video on Jose Ignacio’s blog by Asa Larsson. What scenery!

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