Joseph Finder and George Pelecanos Share the Prize for Best Novel

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Joseph Finder and George Pelecanos share the prize for Best Novel. Rosamund Luptons wins the award for Best First Novel.

On Wednesday, July 11, at an invitation-only cocktail party in Manhattan, Joseph Finder and George Pelecanos shared The Strand Critics Award for Best Novel for Buried Secrets (St. Martin’s Press) and The Cut (Reagan Arthur Books), respectively.

English author Rosamund Lupton won the Best First Novel award for Sister (Crown).

“I'm deeply honored to receive the Strand Critics Award, not least because of the extraordinarily talented writers who were nominated,” Finder said. “The Strand is the preeminent mystery magazine, with a long and illustrious history of publishing, discovering, reviewing, and celebrating the best in a great literary tradition. I am particularly delighted to be sharing this award with one of my favorite writers (and people) in my line of work, George Pelecanos.”

Finder’s novel Paranoia is being adapted for the big screen with an all-star cast including Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, and Richard Dreyfuss.

George Pelecanos—who in addition to earning a reputation as one of the finest crime novelists of the past ten years, was a producer, writer, and story editor for the acclaimed HBO series, The Wire—was equally content with the verdict of the critics: “I was honored to share the prestigious Strand Award with Joe Finder and to be amongst friends and colleagues at the reception. Thanks a million for a great night in New York.”

Unable to travel for the event, Best First Novel-winner Lupton was nonetheless elated by the news: “I am absolutely over the moon about winning the award. Thank you. Toasting the Strand Magazine up a mountain in Scotland this evening. A really wonderful thing to happen and I'm very grateful.”

In addition to the Critics Awards, Joseph Wambaugh and John Sandford were both recognized for their contributions to the field of crime fiction with the Strand Magazine’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Otto Penzler was on hand to accept the award on Wambaugh’s behalf and John Sandford gave a warm thanks to the judges during his acceptance speech.

The Critics Awards were judged by a select group of book critics and journalists, including Carol Memmott (USA Today), Lev Grossman (Time), Ron Charles (Washington Post), Chuck Leddy (Boston Globe), and David Ulin (LA Times).

“At the end of the day, nothing separated George Pelecanos from Joseph Finder—both of their books were terrific,” said Andrew F. Gulli, managing editor of The Strand. “And it was great to see John Sandford on hand to collect the award. For the past three decades, his contribution to the thriller genre has been incredible.”

Best First Novel Nominees:

The Hypnotist by Lars Kepler (Sarah Crichton Books)
Sister by Rosamund Lupton (Crown)
Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson (Harper)
The Boy in the Suitcase by Lene Kaaberbøl and Agnete Friis (Soho Crime)
The Poison Tree by Erin Kelly (Pamela Dorman Books)

Best Novel Nominees:

The Affair by Lee Child (Delacorte Press)
The Drop by Michael Connelly (Little, Brown & Co.)
Buried Secrets by Joseph Finder (St Martin’s Press)
Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James (Knopf)
The Cut by George Pelecanos (Reagan Arthur Books)

Lifetime Achievement Award Winners:

Joseph Wambaugh
John Sandford

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Andrew Gulli
The Strand Magazine
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