The Australian Crime Writers Association (ACWA) announced the winners of the 2018 Ned Kelly Awards at a packed event at the Melbourne Writers’ Festival on 26 August. This prestigious award celebrates the best of Australian crime fiction and true crime. There are four categories:
Best First Crime Novel
Best Crime Novel
Best True Crime
Lifetime Achievement Award
Winner: Best First Crime Novel – Sarah Bailey, The Dark Lake (Allen & Unwin, RRP $32.99)
The judges described The Dark Lake as ‘a sophisticated first novel with a strong emphasis on character and setting. The victim is given life through the memories and emotions of her childhood friend, now lead investigator of her death.’
Sarah Bailey is a Melbourne based writer with a background in advertising and communications.
Winner: Best Crime Novel – Sulari Gentill, Crossing The Lines (Pantera Press, RRP $29.99)
The judges described Crossing The Lines as ‘an intricate dance of mystery and psychological suspense that blurs the lines between real and fictional, sanity and insanity, obsession and love.’
Sulari Gentill is author of the award-winning and best-selling Rowland Sinclair Mysteries and the Greek mythology adventure series The Hero Trilogy.
Winner: Best True Crime – Graham Archer, Unmaking a Murder: The Mysterious Death of Anna-Jane Cheney (Penguin, RRP $34.99)
The judges described Unmaking A Murder as ‘a fascinating, detailed and well researched tale of a gross miscarriage of justice by a system more concerned with sustaining the status quo than pursuing justice.’
Graham Archer is an investigative reporter and producer who has worked for the ABC, Channel 9 and is now Director, News and Public Affairs, SA for channel 7. Anna-Jane Cheney worked at the epicentre of the Adelaide legal community and died six weeks before her wedding to Henry Vincent Keogh, who had taken out five insurance policies amounting to $1.2 million over his fiancée’s life and forged her signature on them. Archer became fascinated by the case in which a man could be sentenced to life in prison without him having received a fair trial.
Winner: Lifetime Achievement Award: Garry Disher
Rochelle Jackson, chair of the Australian Crime Writers' Association said: ‘Garry Disher has made an outstanding contribution to Australian crime fiction, using his characters to explore and expose Australian culture. His crime fiction is just one aspect of a long, successful and varied literary career which shows no sign of slowing down.’
Garry Disher has published over fifty titles—fiction, children’s books, anthologies, textbooks, the Wyatt thrillers and the Peninsula Crimes series. He has won numerous awards, including the German Crime Prize (twice) and two Ned Kelly Best Crime novel awards, for Chain of Evidence (2007) and Wyatt (2010). Garry lives on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula. His latest novel, Under The Cold Bright Lights, is published by Text Publishing (RRP $29.99)
Future Awards sponsored by Booktopia
Tony Nash, CEO of Booktopia, announced at this year’s Ned Kelly Awards that Booktopia is sponsoring the awards for the next three years. Rochelle Jackson, chair of the Australian Crime Writers' Association said: ‘This is an exciting new chapter for the Ned Kelly Awards and the ACWA. We're delighted to be sponsored by Booktopia and look forward to a building a great rapport now and into the future.’
About the Ned Kelly Awards
The Ned Kelly Awards are Australia’s oldest and most prestigious prizes honouring our published crime fiction and true crime writing. The awards began in 1995 and have become an internationally recognised writing award and has done much to raise awareness worldwide of Australia’s great crime authors.