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Michael Connelly awarded the Diamond Dagger at the 2018 UK Crime Writers' Association Dagger awards

Michael Connelly awarded the Diamond Dagger at the 2018 UK Crime Writers' Association Dagger awards

Florida-based crime writer Michael Connelly has been awarded one of the world’s highest crime-writing honours, the UK Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) Diamond Dagger.

The Diamond Dagger is awarded by the CWA to a writer working in English who has ‘made a significant contribution to crime writing published in the English language’ with a career of ‘sustained excellence’.

Previous winners of the Diamond Dagger include Ann Cleeves, Lee Child, Val McDermid, Elmore Leonard and Ruth Rendell.

Connelly, who says he was inspired to write by Raymond Chandler, has sold over 60 million copies of his books. His debut, The Black Echo in 1992, was based on a true crime Connelly stumbled upon as a police reporter in Los Angeles. During his time as a journalist, Connelly wrote a feature story about the survivors of a major plane crash was shortlisted for a Pulitzer Prize.

The Black Echo introduced Connelly’s most popular recurring character, the hard-boiled Vietnam veteran, Detective Hieronymus ‘Harry’ Bosch.

Connelly told Good Reading in 2014 that the character is named after a 15-century painter he studied in college, Hieronymus Bosch.

‘There is a “world gone mad” feel to many of his words, including one called Hell – a print of which hangs on the wall over the computer where I write,’ said Connelly.

‘I thought this would be the perfect name for my character because I saw the metaphoric possibilities of juxtaposing contemporary Los Angeles with some of the Bosch paintings.’

He said that the character was also based on a number of real police officers Connelly knew as a crime reporter, and he also used aspects of fictional detectives he admired, such as Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe, to create Bosch.

Including the recently released Dark Sacred Night, there are 21 books in the Harry Bosch series.

Other winners in this year’s Dagger awards included Steve Cavanagh, who won the Gold Dagger for The Liar over Australia’s Emma Viskic, who was shortlisted for the award with Resurrection Bay. See the full winners here.