Master of horror Stephen King has won America’s top crime-writing award for his serial killer thriller Mr Mercedes. The novel, in which a retired cop is taunted by the perpetrator of a massacre he never managed to solve, sees King steer clear of paranormal elements to focus on a very human evil.
The other five titles shortlisted for the best novel award were: Saints of the Shadow Bible by Ian Rankin (part of his series of crime novels about the detective John Rebus); Coptown by Karin Slaughter; This Dark Road to Mercy by Wiley Cash; Wolf by Mo Hayder and The Final Silence by Stuart Neville.
Run by the Mystery Writers of America, the Edgars, named for Edgar Allan Poe, have been running for over 60 years, with the best novel prize won in the past by Patricia Highsmith, John le Carré and Raymond Chandler.
The best first novel by an American author award went to Dry Bones in the Valley by Tom Bouman, in which a corpse is discovered on the property of an elderly man in Wild Thyme, Pennsylvania.
The ceremony also saw James Ellroy and Lois Duncan named grand masters, an honour the Mystery Writers of America says represents “the pinnacle of achievement in mystery writing”.
It is just a pity that, as far as I know, Stephen King has no plans of visiting The Glass Key bookshop in the Cite de l’Ecrit in Montmorillon. It is just possible that he has heard of the extraordinary number of famous people who have died here.