A Gold Dagger for Jane Harper

Sisters in Crime sends its warmest congratulations to Jane Harper who yesterday won the Crime Writers’ Association of Britain’s top crime writing award, the Gold Dagger.  Jane won  two Sisters in Crime Davitt Awards  (Best Adult Novel and Readers’ Choice) in August and then a week later took out the Ned Kelly Award for Best First Fiction. Sisters in Crime is proud that we hosted one of Jane’s first literary event Jane spoke at. Its title was prescient: “Making a Killing: How to write a best-selling crime book” and took place just two weeks after the official launch of The Dry.
Catch up with Robyn Walton’s Q&A with Jane and Sue Turnbull’s review – if you missed them last year.Sue nailed it when she wrote: ” Every now and then an Australian crime novel comes along to stop your breath and haunt your dreams. The Broken Shore by Peter Temple was one, Bitter Wash Road by Garry Disher another. Both are books that capture something profound about the Australian landscape and the people who inhabit it. Both are not just great crime fiction, but great Australian novels. The Dry by Jane Harper is another.”

Jason Steger’s report in Fairfax Media follows .

Jane Harper wins Britain’s top crime-writing award

Now Jane Harper has become the third Australian after Peter Temple and Michael Robotham to win the British Crime Writers’ Association Gold Dagger award for the best crime novel of the year.

Harper won for her first novel, The Dry, which was published in Australia in 2016, having the year before won the Victorian Premier’s award for an unpublished manuscript. It was named book of the year in the Australian book industry awards in May and has been published in more than 20 countries. When reviewed in The New York Times, Janet Maslin described The Dry as a “breathless page-turner”, while Laura Wilson in Britain’s Guardian said it had “a sense of place so vivid that you can almost feel the blistering heat”.

Harper, who lives in St Kilda, said it was exciting to be recognised by the CWA and not something she expected. “It is the big one. I remember when Michael Robotham won thinking how amazing it was for him and how well-deserved.” She said the book had exceeded her expectations again and again.

The Dry is set in a small farming town where a man has killed his family and himself. When detective Aaron Falk returns to the community for the funeral of his old friend he eventually realises things are not quite what they seem.

Harper’s attention in the past few weeks has been on promoting her second Aaron Falk book, Force of Nature, which was published in September. It will be published in Britain and the US in February.

The Dry has been optioned for the screen by Reese Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea’s production company, with Harry Cripps writing the script. At the recent Emmy awards ceremony, Papandrea said filming could start as early as next year.

Meanwhile, Harper said her third book “was at the planning stage”.