The Crime Writers’ Association

Gold Dagger 2013


Mick Herron

Dead Lions

Published by: Soho Crime

This evening, at the Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards 2013, Mick Herron was awarded the CWA 2013 Goldsboro Gold Dagger, for the best crime novel of the Year. His novel, Dead Lions, is published by Soho Crime. The awards ceremony is being televised on itv3 at 9pm on Sunday evening (27 October).

The Judges described his book as “…a well written, wickedly clever send-up of the classic British spy novel featuring a shadowy department in M15, home to various spooks who have in some way failed or messed up in their work for the security services. This collection of misfits and eccentrics is unexpectedly faced with a major and two-fold challenge: the re-emergence of a whole history of Cold War secrets entangled with a very modern enemy and the possibility of a major terrorist attack on London.”

Mick Herron commented: “My shelves are crammed with Gold Dagger-winning novels of the past – The Mermaids Singing, Black and Blue, Bones and Silence. I can’t quite believe I get to put my own book next to them.”

CWA Chair Alison Joseph added: “We are delighted that David Headley of Goldsboro Books has agreed to sponsor the Gold Dagger. We feel that for the CWA it is an ideal partnership, given Goldsboro’s place as one of the most successful independent booksellers and their commitment to crime and thriller fiction. We look forward to a relationship which we are confident will be of great benefit to both organisations.”

Synopsis: London’s Slough House is where the washed-up MI5 spies go to while away what’s left of their failed careers. The “slow horses”, as they’re called, have all disgraced themselves in some way. Maybe they messed up an op and can’t be trusted anymore. Maybe they got too dependent on the bottle—not unusual in this line of work. One thing they have in common, though, is they all want to be back in the action. And most of them would do anything to get there─even if it means having to work with one another. Now the slow horses have a chance at redemption. An old Cold War-era spy is found dead on a bus outside Oxford, far from his usual haunts. The irascible Jackson Lamb is convinced Dickie Bow was murdered. As the agents dig into their fallen comrade’s circumstances, they uncover a shadowy tangle of Cold War secrets that seem to lead back to Alexander Popov, who is either a Soviet bogeyman or the most dangerous man in the world. How many more will have to die to keep those secrets buried?

Mick Herron was born in Newcastle and has a degree in English from Balliol College, Oxford. He is the author of two books in the River Cartwright series, Slow Horses and Dead Lions, as well as a mystery series set in Oxford. He now lives in Oxford and works in London.

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