Crime writer Peter James wins Diamond Dagger prize
Author Peter James has said that winning the Crime Writers' Association Diamond Dagger prize is proof that "sometimes, our dreams really can come true."
He follows in the footsteps of previous winners Elmore Leonard , Lee Child, Simon Brett, Lindsey Davis and Val McDermid.
James is best known for his series of novels about the adventures of Detective Superintendent Roy Grace, including his latest, The House On Cold Hill.
He said: "I remember attending the ceremonies in my earliest days as a young, struggling writer, watching the annual presentations, listening to the acceptance speeches, and dreaming that one day this could be me - which I always dismissed as no more than fantasy.
"Now to find that I am actually to be this year's recipient is, without doubt, one of the greatest moments of my career. And it is proof that sometimes, our dreams really can come true."
The Diamond Dagger is the most prestigious prize at the Dagger Awards.
The prize is awarded based on nominations by the members of the CWA - who are all published or soon-to-be-published crime novelists. The CWA committee then decide the winner from the shortlist.
James explained: "It is, without doubt, the most coveted of all, partly because of its history, partly because of who actually decides it, but more important than either of these is the list of past winners - a veritable roll call of the giants of our genre."
To research his books, he often works alongside officers and detectives to observe the reality of their jobs.
CWA chair Len Tyler said: "Peter James is King of the Police Procedural. His books combine up-to-the-minute accuracy with tight plotting and a fast pace.
"Over the past 30 years or so, Peter has established himself as one of the best-known and best-loved thriller writers in the country. He is immensely supportive of other authors and his wide-ranging work inside and outside the genre has been recognised both by Brighton University and Sussex Police.
"I know this will be a popular choice both amongst readers and other crime writers."