Fremantle Press crime writer wins the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime


Alan Carter has won the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime for his latest novel Marlborough Man. A sizeable crowd joined Alan in the atrium of The Piano in Christchurch on Saturday night for readings from each of the shortlisted writers before Denise Mina made the announcement. Kept secret right up to the opening of the envelope, winners weren’t tipped off beforehand about the results.

Carter said ‘gobsmacked’ was a word he’d used a lot in the last 24 hours. ‘I was under the impression that the winners were informed beforehand so I assumed it wasn’t me and was more than happy to be recognised in the shortlist,’ said Carter. ‘I do feel like I’ve been taken into the fold. From day one, people have been very welcoming and encouraging. I think Ngaio Marsh Awards founder and all-round champion of #yeahnoir Craig Sisterson has a lot to do with that. He’s passionate about crime fiction generally and New Zealand in particular, promotes it wherever he goes, and encourages us all to support each other,’ said Carter.

Carter said, ‘As Denise Mina said before she opened the envelope, everybody who has got to that stage of shortlist should be proud of their achievement. There is some wonderful writing going on in this corner of the planet. I’ve read Paul Cleave’s A Killer Harvest and I’m very much looking forward to checking out Charity Norman’s See You in September, Nathan Blackwell’s The Sound of Her Voice, Stella Duffy’s The Hidden Room and First Fiction winner All Our Secrets by Jennifer Lane.’

Now in its ninth year, the awards celebrate the best New Zealand crime, mystery, thriller and suspense writing. Sisterson said the judges faced tough decisions in a year when the number of entries was at a record-breaking high.

Marlborough Man was described by the judges as ‘a full-throated crime thriller that puts the freshest of spins on the cop-with-a-past trope’ and as ‘hard to put down’. They also praised Carter as ‘a world-class wordsmith.’

The award was announced on Saturday 1 September as part of the 2018 WORD Christchurch Festival. Marlborough Man is available online at www.fremantlepress.com.au and at all good bookstores.


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