The highest honour in British crime writing, The CWA Diamond Dagger, was awarded to Robert Goddard in 2019. The Dagger award recognises authors whose crime writing careers have been marked by sustained excellence, and who have made a significant contribution to the genre.
Linda Stratmann, CWA Chair, said: “Robert Goddard has been entertaining crime fiction fans across the world for over thirty years. His books are notable for their breathtaking plot twists, sharp characterisation, and insights into history. It is a genuine pleasure to celebrate his illustrious career with the award of the Diamond Dagger.”
Robert Goddard said: “I’m greatly honoured to be this year’s CWA Diamond Dagger recipient, particularly since it’s an award conferred by my fellow writers, who know about the challenges of the craft from the inside. Looking back, I’m not exactly sure when trying to make a go of writing turned into a career, but it’s been a hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience and recognition like this is much appreciated. It also gives me encouragement, for which I’m very grateful, to look ahead to all those books yet to come!”
Robert Goddard was presented with the CWA Diamond Dagger at the CWA’s Dagger Awards ceremony in London on 24 October last year. Previous winners of the CWA Diamond Dagger include PD James, John Le Carre, Dick Francis, Ruth Rendell, Lee Child, and Ann Cleeves.
Robert Goddard was born in Hampshire in 1954, and educated at Price’s School Fareham, and Peterhouse, Cambridge where he read History. He pursued various career options prior to spending ten years as a local government officer. In 1986, he published his first novel, Past Caring, setting him on a fresh path. He won an Edgar for best original paperback (Long Time Coming) and Into the Blue was televised with John Thaw as Harry Barnett, who appears in three of Robert’s novels.
The CWA Diamond Dagger is selected from nominations provided by CWA members. Nominees have to meet two essential criteria: first, their careers must be marked by sustained excellence, and second, they must have made a significant contribution to crime writing published in the English language.
The announcement of the award (28 February 2019) coincided with the publication of Robert’s latest title, One False Move, his 28th novel. His 27th novel, Panic Room, gained some of his best ever reviews.
Photo: Robert Goddard © Graham Jepson