CWA Dagger Award Shortlists announced

The 2022 shortlists for the prestigious Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) Dagger awards, which honour the very best in the crime-writing genre and are sponsored by ALCS, have been announced.

The Gold Dagger, which recognises the crime novel of the year, sees debut author Jacqueline Bublitz on the shortlist of six. Before You Knew My Name was called “extraordinary” by the CWA judges. Also in contention are Abir Mukherjee, a previous winner of the CWA Historical Dagger for The Shadows of Men praised for its “intricate plotting”, and the bestselling ‘Southern noir’ crime writer, SA Cosby, for Razorblade Tears.

The ALCS Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction shortlist includes the “absorbing” account of a trafficked New Zealand woman in The Disappearance of Lydia Harvey by Julia Laite. Also, Empire of Pain by Patrick Radden Keefe makes the list with his account of the Sackler family, who exploited America’s pain industry, fuelling the opioid epidemic. Judges praised it as a “tribute to investigative journalism”.

The Shortlists in Full:


The Devil You Know: Stories of Human Cruelty and Compassion, Dr Gwen Adshead & Eileen Horne (Faber)

The Dublin Railway Murder, Thomas Morris (Penguin Random House; Harvill Secker)

The Unusual Suspect, Ben Machell (Canongate Books)

The Disappearance of Lydia Harvey: A true story of sex, crime and the meaning of justice, Julia Laite (Profile Books)

Empire of Pain, Patrick Radden Keefe (Pan Macmillan; Picador)

The Irish Assassins: Conspiracy, Revenge and the Murders that Stunned an Empire, Julie Kavanagh (Atlantic Books; Grove Press UK)



Before You Knew My Name, Jacqueline Bublitz (Little, Brown; Sphere)

Sunset Swing, Ray Celestin (Pan Macmillan; Mantle)

Razorblade Tears, SA Cosby (Headline Publishing Group; Headline)

The Unwilling, John Hart (Bonnier Books UK Ltd; Zaffre)

The Shadows of Men, Abir Mukherjee (Penguin Random House; Harvill Secker)

The Trawlerman, William Shaw (Quercus; riverrun)



Find You First, Linwood Barclay (HarperCollins; HQ)

The Pact, Sharon Bolton (Orion)

The Devil’s Advocate, Steve Cavanagh (Orion)

Razorblade Tears, SA Cosby (Headline Publishing Group)

Dead Ground, MW Craven (Little, Brown; Constable)

Dream Girl, Laura Lippman (Faber)



Welcome to Cooper, Tariq Ashkanani (Thomas & Mercer)

Repentance, Eloísa Díaz (Orion Publishing Group; Weidenfeld & Nicolson)

The Mash House, Alan Gillespie (Unbound; Unbound Digital)

The Appeal, Janice Hallett (Profile Books; Viper Books)

Where Ravens Roost, Karin Nordin (HarperCollins; HQ)

How to Kidnap the Rich, Rahul Raina (Little, Brown)

Waking the Tiger, Mark Wightman (Hobeck Books)



April in Spain, John Banville (Faber)

Sunset Swing, Ray Celestin (Pan Macmillan; Mantle)

Crow Court, Andy Charman (Unbound)

Not One of Us, Alis Hawkins (Canelo)

Edge of the Grave, Robbie Morrison (Pan Macmillan; Macmillan)

A Corruption of Blood, Ambrose Parry (Canongate Books)



Hotel Cartagena, Simone Buchholz translated by Rachel Ward (Orenda Books)

Bullet Train, Kōtarō Isaka translated by Sam Malissa (Penguin Random House; Harvill Secker)

Oxygen, Sacha Naspini translated by Clarissa Botsford (Europa Editions UK Ltd; Europa Editions)

People Like Them, Samira Sedira translated by Lara Vergnaud (Bloomsbury Publishing; Raven Books)

The Rabbit Factor, Antti Tuomainen translated by David Hackston (Orenda Books)



‘Blindsided’ by Caroline England in Criminal Pursuits: Crime Through Time edited by Samantha Lee Howe (Telos Publishing)

‘London’ in The Jealousy Man and other stories by Jo Nesbⱷ edited by Robert Ferguson (Penguin Random House; Harvill Secker)

‘With the Others’ by TM Logan in Afraid of the Shadows edited by Miranda Jewess (Criminal Minds)

‘Flesh of a Fancy Woman’ by Paul Magrs in Criminal Pursuits: Crime Through Time edited by Samantha Lee Howe (Telos Publishing)

‘Changeling’ by Bryony Pearce in Criminal Pursuits: Crime Through Time edited by Samantha Lee Howe (Telos Publishing)

‘When I Grow Up’ by Robert Scragg in Afraid of the Shadows edited by Miranda Jewess (Criminal Minds)



Cath Staincliffe

Edward Marston

Lin Anderson

Mark Billingham

Susan Hill



Faber & Faber

HarperCollins; Harper Fiction

Penguin Random House; Michael Joseph

Pushkin Press; Pushkin Vertigo

Titan Books

Profile Books; Viper


DEBUT DAGGER Sponsored by ProWritingAid

Henry’s Bomb, Kevin Bartlett

Holloway Castle, Laura Ashton Hill

The 10:12, Anna Maloney

The Dead of Egypt, David Smith

The Dieppe Letters, Liz Rachel Walker


Created in 1955, the world-famous CWA Daggers are the oldest awards in the genre and have been synonymous with quality crime writing for over half a century. You can view the judging panel for each category on the CWA website: The Daggers — The Crime Writers’ Association (