Monday July 15th: This evening the Crime Writers’ Association Diamond Dagger was presented to Lee Child by Frederick Forsyth, who won the Dagger in 2012.
The Diamond Dagger is voted for by members of the CWA and celebrates an author with an outstanding body of work in crime fiction. Past winners include Val McDermid, Ian Rankin, and Elmore Leonard.
Alison Joseph, CWA Chair, said:
“Lee Child’s stories are large-scale, heart-stopping thrillers, roaming across wide-open global spaces in the cause of thwarting evil. In Jack Reacher, Lee has created a hero like no other, beloved of millions of readers around the world. And his creator is just as well-loved. He is a delight to work with; loyal, straightforward, generous to readers and to new writers. He combines a successful philosophy about what it is to write best sellers with a huge amount of talent. We are delighted to award him the 2013 CWA Diamond Dagger.”
The diamond-studded Dagger was handed over at the CWA Gala Awards Dinner held at Kings Place, London.
2013 is also the Crime Writers’ Association Diamond Jubilee. The organisation was started in 1953 by prolific author John Creasey, and it now provides support for published crime writers and promotes the genre, as well as running the prestigious Dagger awards, the oldest literary awards in the UK.
Lee Child is one of the world’s leading thriller writers. His novels consistently top the bestseller lists on both sides of the Atlantic. It is estimated that he has sold some 60 million copies of his seventeen thrillers worldwide, all of which feature Jack Reacher, the former military cop and maverick drifter. Born in Coventry in 1954, Lee now divides his time between New York and the South of France.
In 2011, Lee won the prestigious Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Award for 61 Hours. In 2012, A Wanted Man was named Crime Book of the Year at the Specsavers National Book Awards. In 2012, Lee’s novel One Shot was filmed as Jack Reacher and starred Tom Cruise.
The Diamond Dagger recipient is chosen each year by the CWA committee, from a shortlist nominated by the membership. It is very much an honour awarded by the author’s peers and this makes it special. Shortlisted authors must meet two essential criteria: first, their careers must be marked by sustained excellence, and second, they must have made a significant contribution to crime fiction published in the English language, whether originally or in translation. The award is made purely on merit without reference to age, gender or nationality.