Journalist Kerrigan wins Gold Dagger for 'The Rage'
journalist Gene Kerrigan (pictured below) has won the Gold Dagger for the Crime Novel of the Year, the most prestigious annual award in Britain for thrillers.
The 'Sunday Independent' columnist took the award for his latest novel, 'The Rage', a "suspense-driven storm of violence, set in the backstreets of Dublin".
His novel intertwines the stories of professional thief Vincent Naylor, just out of jail and planning a new robbery, and detective Bob Tidey, investigating the murder of a banker.
When Tidey is tipped off by a retired nun that there is something suspicious happening on her Dublin street, violence ensues.
"A complex noir thriller that's multi-layered and solidly written, with great style and pace," the judges said.
"The depiction of post-crash Dublin has a real sense of menace and threat throughout."
The award is worth a modest £2,500 (€3,000), but its real value comes in the publicity which is likely to drive Kerrigan's books up the bestseller charts in the lucrative UK and US markets.
Kerrigan, who was presented with the prize at the Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards, was celebrating by "following my daughter around the shops" in London where the ceremony took place.
His win means that he is joining an impressive list of previous Gold Dagger winners including Henning Mankel, James Lee Burke and Patricia Cornwell.
"It's terrific for me," Kerrigan said. "A lot of people I admire have won this award, so that makes it very satisfying for me."
'The Rage', which came out last year, is his fourth crime book. While some critics have suggested that it is a commentary on post-boom Ireland, he really sees it as a crime story about individuals.
"My first crime novel, ' Little Criminals', was set in boom-time Ireland and came out in 2005, so I suppose I've come full circle. But that's for somebody else to decide. You have to reflect what's happening in the society around you and that's what I do."
He has no plans to give up journalism nor his column in the 'Sunday Independent'.
"Not at all. Journalism is my first love. I do my crime writing in my spare time. I started it just to see if I could do it, and now I really enjoy it. But I'm a journalist first."