The Crime Writers’ Association has awarded its Cartier Diamond Dagger for 2005 to the Scottish writer, Ian Rankin OBE.
The UK’s number one best-selling crime writer, Ian Rankin is best known for his Inspector John Rebus novels, which have been translated into 22 languages and dramatised for TV. He won the CWA Macallan Gold Dagger for Fiction in 1997 for Black & Blue (Orion), which was also shortlisted for the Mystery Writers of America ‘Edgar’ award. He is twice winner for the CWA Short Story Dagger. Dead Souls (Orion), the tenth novel in the Rebus series, was shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger in 1999 and in 2004 he won the MWA Edgar for Resurrection Men (Orion).
Ian Rankin has been elected a Hawthornden Fellow and is a past winner of the Chandler-Fulbright Award. He holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Abertay Dundee, and was elected Alumnus of the Year of Edinburgh University. He was awarded the OBE in the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Birthday Honours List in June 2003. He is married with two sons.
Ian Rankin wins the Cartier Diamond Dagger in this its twentieth year. It has been awarded annually, to mark a lifetime’s achievement in crime writing, since 1986 – the year in which his first novel, The Flood was published. Previous winners have included PD James, Ruth Rendell, Dick Francis and John Le Carre.
When told about the award of the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger, Ian Rankin said: “I’m overwhelmed, but really feel this lifetime achievement award should go to Inspector Rebus rather than his creator. After all, Rebus is in his late-50s, rapidly approaching retirement, with deteriorating health and a fixation on cigarettes, alcohol and 60s rock. Through the course of his life, he has been knocked about, shot, pushed out of helicopters, tortured, walked out on by a host of girlfriends, fallen out with his family, seen friends and colleagues murdered in cold blood, and been haunted by ghosts. He’s tackled terrorists and serial killers, racists and bigots, pimps and dealers and gangsters. On the other hand, all I’ve done is sit at a desk in a well-heated room, drinking coffee and eating chocolate, while I put Rebus through the mill for the umpteenth time. I’m still in my forties, enjoy general good health, and feel my best books may still be ahead of me. Put simply, he deserves this award more than I do… but I’m more than happy to accept it on his behalf.”
Ian Rankin was presented with his Diamond Dagger by Monsieur Arnaud Bamberger of Cartier, at a reception at the Savoy Hotel, London, on May 11th.
The Award was set up in 1986 when the first winner was Eric Ambler. Subsequent recipients have been P.D. James, John le Carré, Dick Francis, Julian Symons, Ruth Rendell, Leslie Charteris, Ellis Peters, Michael Gilbert, Reginald Hill, H.R.F. Keating, Colin Dexter, Ed McBain, Margaret Yorke, Peter Lovesey, Lionel Davidson, Sara Paretsky and Robert Barnard. The CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger Award for 2004 went to Lawrence Block.