Belfast born, Australian resident, Adrian McKinty has won the 2014 Ned Kelly Award for crime fiction for his novel IN THE MORNING I’LL BE GONE (reviewed here).
McKinty, who settled in Melbourne five years ago, received the honour at the Brisbane Writers Festival on Saturday night when the Australian Crime Writer’s Association (ACWA) celebrated the best crime-related books of the year.
IN THE MORNING I’LL BE GONE (Allen & Unwin/Serpents Tail) is the third in a trilogy of novels that McKinty has set in Belfast during the 1980s. Featuring detective Sean Duffy, it is a locked room mystery wrapped in a political thriller set against the backdrop of the infamous Brighton Hotel Bombing. The judges described it as ‘quite extraordinary’. ‘There’s a fine line between social commentary and compelling mystery and not many writers, crime or literary, can do both.’
Documentary maker and journalist John Safran won the Ned Kelly Award for True Crime for MURDER IN MISSISSIPPI (reviewed here) (Penguin Books/Hamish Hamilton), inspired by his TV series Race Relations. Safran spent an uneasy couple of days with one of Mississippi's most notorious white supremacists and a year later investigated the same man’s murder, covering the subsequent trial. Judges described him as a wonderful guide to the weirdness of the American Deep South. ‘Always honest, frequently hilarious, Safran’s bumbling adventure never fails to captivate.’
Newcomer Candice Fox won the Best First Fiction Ned Kelly Award for her horror/thriller HADES (reviewed here) (Random House/Bantam). Judges said Fox had managed to combine a number of current genre tropes into something and new and exciting. ‘A little bit Dexter, a little bit procedural, overall a great first novel built on a not-yet hackneyed premise that will have readers looking forward to the sequel.’
The Ned Kelly Awards are Australia’s oldest and most prestigious prizes for crime fiction and true crime writing. First established in 1995, the list of previous winners includes, Peter Temple, Shane Maloney, Gabrielle Lord, Garry Disher and Kerry Greenwood.
You can read more about the awards at the ACWA website http://www.austcrimewriters.com/ned-kelly-award-winners
THE FULL 2014 SHORTLISTS
BEST CRIME NOVEL
Garry Disher, BITTER WASH ROAD
Kathryn Fox, FATAL IMPACT
Adrian McKinty, IN THE MORNING I’LL BE GONE
PM Newton, BEAMS FALLING
Stephen Orr, ONE BOY MISSING
Angela Savage, THE DYING BEACH
2014 BEST FIRST CRIME NOVEL
Peter Cotton, DEAD CAT BOUNCE
Candice Fox, HADES
Alex Hammond, BLOOD WITNESS
Ellie Marney, EVERY BREATH
2014 BEST TRUE CRIME
Paul Dale, DISGRACED?
John Kidman & Denise Hofman, FOREVER NINE
Eleanor Learmonth & Jenny Tabakoff, NO MERCY
Colin McLaren, JFK: THE SMOKING GUN
Duncan McNab, OUTLAW BIKERS IN AUSTRALIA
John Safran, MURDER IN MISSISSIPPI
2014 Sandra Harvey Short Story Award
Louise Bassett, HOUSEWARMING
Darcy-Lee Tindale, THE SCARS OF NOIR
Roger Vickery, VOICES OF SOI 22
Emma Viskic, Splinter
WINNER: Emma Viskic, Web Design
A spectacular escape and a man-hunt that could change the future of a nation - and lay one man's past to rest. Sean Duffy's got nothing. And when you've got nothing to lose, you have everything to gain. So when MI5 come knocking, Sean knows exactly what they want, and what he'll want in return, but he hasn't got the first idea how to get it. Of course he's heard about the spectacular escape of IRA man Dermot McCann from Her Majesty's Maze prison. And he knew, with chilly certainty, that their paths would cross. But finding Dermot leads Sean to an old locked room mystery, and into the kind of danger where you can lose as easily as winning. From old betrayals and ancient history to 1984's most infamous crime, Sean tries not to fall behind in the race to annihilation. Can he outrun the most skilled terrorist the IRA ever created? And will the past catch him first?
When filming his TV series Race Relations, John Safran spent an uneasy couple of days with one of Mississippi's most notorious white supremacists. A year later, he heard that the man had been murdered – and what was more, the killer was black.
At first the murder seemed a twist on the old Deep South race crimes. But then more news rolled in. Maybe it was a dispute over money, or most intriguingly, over sex. Could the infamous racist actually have been secretly gay, with a thing for black men? Did Safran have the last footage of him alive? Could this be the story of a lifetime? Seizing his Truman Capote moment, he jumped on a plane to cover the trial.
Over six months, Safran got deeper and deeper into the South, becoming entwined in the lives of those connected with the murder – white separatists, black campaigners, lawyers, investigators, neighbours, even the killer himself. And the more he talked with them, the less simple the crime, and the world, seemed.
Murder in Mississippi is a brilliantly innovative true-crime story. Taking us places only he can, Safran paints an engrossing, revealing portrait of a dead man, his murderer, the place they lived and the process of trying to find out the truth about anything.
A dark, compelling and original thriller that will have you spellbound from its atmospheric opening pages to its shocking climax. Hades is the debut of a stunning new talent in crime fiction.
Hades Archer, the man they call the Lord of the Underworld, surrounds himself with the things others leave behind. Their trash becomes the twisted sculptures that line his junkyard. The bodies they want disposed of become his problem for a fee. Then one night a man arrives on his doorstep, clutching a small bundle that he wants 'lost'. And Hades makes a decision that will change everything...
Twenty years later, homicide detective Frank Bennett feels like the luckiest man on the force when he meets his new partner, the dark and beautiful Eden Archer. But there's something strange about Eden and her brother, Eric. Something he can't quite put his finger on. When the two detectives are called to the scene of an attempted drowning, they find a traumatised victim telling a story that's hard to believe - until the divers start bringing up bodies.
Frank is now on the hunt for a very different kind of serial killer: one who offers the sick and dying hope at murderous cost. At first, his partner's sharp instincts come in handy. Soon, he's wondering if she's as dangerous as the man they hunt.