It’s taken a very long time to work my way through all the entries and select a winner. This is a testament to the quantity and quality of entrants. We took the decision to slightly extend the deadline and were rewarded with a host of late entries.
Every one was read and duly considered. The overall standard was remarkably high. The 10 novels included on the long list were all thoroughly enjoyable and wouldn’t have been out of place on a shelf in any bookshop.
The four novels on the short list were excellent and any of them would have made a worthy winner. Like any competition, the successful novel will always be the one that most resonates with the judge. Cowan by Rob Smith was the kind of novel I look forward to reading. More than a simple detective story, it is packed with action. It has a great lead character, good dialogue, a solid storyline, and a satisfying ending. The greatest compliment is that the pages sped past. Never once did it drag.
A special mention should be made to the following:
Salma’s Shoes by Alan Evans: Great international story with a poignant ending.
The Hawaiian Missionaries by Timothy Sever: A true detective story with just about everything.
Corpse Pose by Daniel Ward: Terrific plot with a great twist at the end.