Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Lee Child gets away with major crime writing award
Thriller author Lee Child, creator of the 6ft 5in hard-as-nails drifter Jack Reacher, played by Tom Cruise in the recent film, is to be awarded the Diamond Dagger by the Crime Writers' Association for a lifetime's achievement in crime fiction.
The British writer joins an illustrious line-up of former recipients of the Diamond Dagger including PD James, Colin Dexter, Ruth Rendell and Elmore Leonard. Child is the author of 17 novels starring Reacher, the former military policeman of no fixed abode whose most recent outing was in last year's A Wanted Man, in which he hitches a lift with strangers who turn out to be hiding deadly secrets.
The prize, which will be presented to Child in the summer, is for an author with a career "marked by sustained excellence", who has "made a significant contribution to crime fiction published in the English language", said the CWA. The shortlist is nominated by crime writers who are members of the association, with a committee picking the eventual recipient.
Child only turned to fiction aged 40, after he was lost his job at Granada Television following restructuring in 1995. He then sat down and wrote the first Jack Reacher novel, Killing Floor. His novels are now bestsellers in both the US and the UK, with an estimated 60m copies sold worldwide. He is also the seventh most-borrowed adult fiction author in the UK, with Worth Dying For, his 15th Jack Reacher novel, last year's second most-borrowed book. Born in Coventry, Child now has homes in New York, the south of France, "and whatever airplane cabin he happens to be in while travelling between the two", he writes on his website.