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2013 International Thriller Writers Awards

Catch Me by Lisa GardnerFounded in 2004, the International Thriller Writers, Inc. was established as the first professional organization for thriller writers. The group is an honorary society of authors who write books that are classified as “thrillers”, which include subjects such as mysteries, suspense, espionage, adventure, war and supernatural. Members of the organization include popular authors Clive Cussler, Sandra Brown, David Morrell, Lee Child, Ridley Pearson, Tess Gerritsen and Lisa Gardner.

One of the major principals of the organization is to assist debut and midlist authors in advancing their careers. One way they do this is by holding an annual conference titled “Thrillerfest”. At each conference The International Thriller Writers Awards are presented for outstanding work in the field.


The nominees for Best Hardcover Novel for 2013 are:


Defending JacobAndy Barber has been the top district attorney in his small, middle-class, Massachusetts town for 20 years. When a teenage boy is murdered, Andy focuses on a neighborhood pedophile as the chief suspect. There are concerns about a conflict of interest since Andy's teenage son, Jacob, attended the same school as the murdered boy and the investigation seems to be lagging. But after Jacob's best friend provides evidence against him, Jacob is arrested. Andy is taken off the case and suspended, but he is determined to prove his son's innocence. (summary provided by Library Journal)



Catch MeD.D. Warren has returned from maternity leave and is back on the job just in time to investigate a crime spree in which the victims are also child predators. She's soon contacted by a young woman named Charlie Grant, who announces that she expects to be killed in several days and asks D.D. to investigate her murder. As D.D. copes with personal issues while working with her old team (plus a new face in Detective O) to piece together this crime puzzle, the two seemingly unconnected cases begin to show signs of overlapping. (summary provided by Library Journal)




The Trinity GameDaniel Byrne is an investigator for the Vatican's secretive Office of the Devil's Advocate--the department that scrutinizes miracle claims. Over ten years and 721 cases, not one miracle he tested has proved true. But case #722 is different; Daniel's estranged uncle, a crooked TV evangelist, has started speaking in tongues--and accurately predicting the future. Daniel knows Reverend Tim Trinity is a con man. Could Trinity also be something more?





Spilled BloodTwo small Minnesota towns, St. Croix and Barron are divided by a river that turns them into warring camps in this harrowing stand-alone from Freeman. Barron, the home of Florian Steele's company, Mondamin Research, has flourished, while St. Croix has withered. The death of five St. Croix teens from leukemia resulted in a lawsuit that absolved Mondamin from blame. Late one night, drunken 16-year-old Olivia Hawk, whose best friend was one of the leukemia victims, confronts Florian's 17-year-old daughter, Ashlynn, on a lonely road outside St. Croix. Ashlynn's subsequent murder, with which Olivia is charged, threatens to trigger more violence. (summary provided by Publisher's Weekly)



The SurvivorHurwitz's hair-raising stand-alone stars an unlikely hero, 36-year-old Nate Overbay. Diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease nine months earlier, Nate is about to leap off an 11th-floor ledge of a bank building in Santa Monica, Calif., when he notices a robbery in progress. Nate climbs back in the window undetected, grabs a handgun a masked man has conveniently set down, and, thanks to his ROTC firearms training, succeeds in shooting dead five of the six robbers. In revenge, a notorious Ukrainian mobster vows to brutally kill Nate and his teenage daughter unless Nate can retrieve the robbery's objective: an envelope stored in one of the bank's safe deposit boxes. (summary provided by Publisher's Weekly)


The winner will be announced at ThrillerFest VIII in New York City on July 13, 2013.

Past winners for Best Hardcover Novel:

2012: 11/22/63 by Stephen King
2011: Bad Blood by John Sandford
2010: The Neighbor by Lisa Gardner
2009: The Bodies Left Behind by Jeffery Deaver