Ned Kelly Awards 2018 – Winners Announced

by |August 26, 2018

The Australian Crime Writers Association has announced the winners of the 2018 Ned Kelly Awards!

This year the award for Best Crime Novel was won by Sulari Genthill for Crossing the Lines, which judges described as ‘an intricate dance of mystery and psychological suspense that blurs the lines between real and fictional, sanity and insanity, obsession and love.’

The Best First Crime Novel award was won by Sarah Bailey for her bestselling debut, The Dark Lake. The Dark Lake was described by judges as ‘a sophisticated first novel with a strong emphasis on character and setting.’

The award for Best True Crime was won by Graham Archer for Unmaking A Murder, which judges described 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.”

The Lifetime Achievement award was won by Garry Disher, who has published over fifty books across multiple genres and who has previously won two Ned Kelly Awards for Best Crime Novel –  Chain of Evidence (2007) and Wyatt (2010)

It was announced during the award ceremony that Booktopia is proud to be sponsoring the Ned Kelly Awards in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

‘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.’- Rochelle Jackson, chair of the Australian Crime Writers’ Association

The awards were presented during a special event at the Melbourne Writers’ Festival.

Congratulations to all the nominees and award-winning authors!

Best Crime Novel

ned kellyCrossing the Lines
by Sulari Genthill

When Madeleine d’Leon conjures Ned McGinnity as the hero in her latest crime novel, she makes him a serious writer simply because the irony of a protagonist who’d never lower himself to read the story in which he stars, amuses her. When Ned McGinnity creates Madeleine d’Leon, she is his literary device, a writer of detective fiction who is herself a mystery to be unravelled.

As Ned and Madeleine play out their own lives while writing the other’s story, they find themselves crossing the lines that divide the real and the imagined.

This is a story about two people trying to hold onto each other beyond reality.

Click here to order your copy of Crossing the Lines.

Best First Crime Novel

ned kellyThe Dark Lake
by Sarah Bailey

A hot summer. A shocking murder. A town of secrets, waiting to explode. A brooding, suspenseful and explosive debut that will grip you from the first page to the last.

There were a few minutes when I was alone with her in the autopsy room. I felt wild. Absent. Before I could stop myself I was leaning close to her, telling her everything. The words draining out of me as she lay there. Her long damp hair hanging off the back of the steel table. Glassy eyes fixed blindly on the ceiling. She was still so beautiful, even in death.

Our secrets circled madly around the bright white room that morning. Rocking back and forth on my heels as I stood next to her, I knew how far in I was again, how comprehensively her death could undo me. I looked at Rosalind Ryan properly for the last time before breathing deeply, readying myself, letting her pull me back into her world, and I sank down, further and further, until I was completely, utterly under.

A beautiful young teacher has been murdered, her body found in the lake, strewn with red roses. Local policewoman Detective Sergeant Gemma Woodstock pushes to be assigned to the case, concealing the fact that she knew the murdered woman in high school years before.

But that’s not all Gemma’s trying to hide. As the investigation digs deeper into the victim’s past, other secrets threaten to come to light, secrets that were supposed to remain buried. The lake holds the key to solving the murder, but it also has the power to drag Gemma down into its dark depths.

The Dark Lake is an addictive crime thriller, a mesmerising account of one woman’s descent into deceit and madness, and a stunning debut that is already causing a stir around the world.

Click here to read my review of The Dark Lake

Click here to order your copy of The Dark Lake

Best True Crime

ned killeyUnmaking a Murder
by Graham Archer

An investigation into an intriguing murder case and an unprecedented account of how the decisions made by organs of government can be defended and mistakes covered up.

Anna-Jane Cheney worked at the epicentre of the conservative Adelaide legal community. She was vivacious, popular and talented, with an impeccable middle-class upbringing. The man she loved, Henry Vincent Keogh, was a divorced 39-year-old Irish migrant with three children. She died just six weeks before their wedding date.

According to the prosecution, Keogh had planned the drowning murder of Anna-Jane 18 months in advance. He had taken out five insurance policies amounting to $1.2 million over his fiancUe’s life and forged her signature on them.

Journalist Graham Archer became fascinated by the case. It wasn’t a matter of Henry Keogh’s guilt or innocence, but that a man could be sentenced to life in prison without him having received a fair trial. The story became an odyssey for Graham. Deliberately, he had no contact with Henry Keogh in the 13 years it took to have the case reviewed by the Supreme Court and have his conviction quashed.

In the end dogged determination prevailed, and after 20 years behind bars Henry Keogh was released.

Click here to order your copy of Unmaking a Murder


Lifetime Achievement Award

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.

1 Comment Share:

About the Contributor

Sarah McDuling is Booktopia's Senior Content Producer and Editor of The Booktopian Blog. She has been in the bookselling game for almost a decade and a dedicated booklover since birth (potentially longer). At her happiest when reading a book, Sarah also enjoys talking/writing/tweeting about books. In her spare time, she often likes to buy a lot of books and take photographs of books. You can follow her on Twitter and Instragram @sarahmcduling

Follow Sarah: Twitter


  • August 29, 2018 at 10:46 am

    This years winners are exceptional. I was very proud to present Sarah Bailey with her award for the Best First Crime Novel, and also delighted that Sulari Gentill won the Best Crime Novel for 2018. Sulari is an incredible author. As are all the winners this year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *