See the 2019 Ned Kelly Award winners!

by |September 7, 2019
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Calling all crime fiction buffs and true crime devotees: the 2019 Ned Kelly Award winners have been announced!

Now in its 24th year, the Ned Kelly Awards recognise the best in Australian crime writing, and are awarded in categories such as best fiction, first fiction, and true crime.

The 2019 Ned Kelly Award winners were revealed at the BAD Sydney Crime Writers Festival at the Harold Park Tramsheds last night – scroll down to see the three winning books and authors.


Best Fiction

The Lost Man by Jane Harper

The Lost Man

Two brothers meet at the border of their vast cattle properties under the unrelenting sun of outback Queensland. They are at the stockman’s grave, a landmark so old, no one can remember who is buried there. But today, the scant shadow it casts was the last hope for their middle brother, Cameron.

Something had been troubling him. Did Cameron walk to his death? Because if he didn’t, the isolation of the outback leaves few suspects …

Buy it here.


Best First Fiction

The Rúin by Dervla McTiernan

The Ruin

Galway 1993: Young Garda Cormac Reilly is called to a scene he will never forget. Two silent, neglected children – fifteen-year-old Maude and five-year-old Jack – are waiting for him at a crumbling country house. Upstairs, their mother lies dead.

Twenty years later, a body surfaces in the icy black waters of the River Corrib. At first it looks like an open-and-shut case, but then doubt is cast on the investigation’s findings – and the integrity of the police. Cormac is thrown back into the cold case that has haunted him his entire career – what links the two deaths, two decades apart? As he navigates his way through police politics and the ghosts of the past, Detective Reilly uncovers shocking secrets and finds himself questioning who among his colleagues he can trust.

Buy it here.


Best True Crime

Eggshell Skull by Bri Lee

Eggshell Skull

A fiercely intelligent, heartbreakingly honest memoir and feminist call to arms in the tradition of Fight Like A Girl.

Eggshell Skull: A well-established legal doctrine that a defendant must ‘take their victim as they find them’: If a thin skull caused the death of someone after a punch, that victim’s weakness cannot mitigate the seriousness of the crime, nor the punishment.

But what if it also works the other way? What if a defendant on trial for sexual crimes has to accept his ‘victim’ as she comes: a strong, determined accuser who knows the legal system, who will not back down until justice is done?

Buy it here.


The Deputy Chair of the Australian Crime Writers Association Robert Goodman said, “The Ned Kelly Awards continues to celebrate the strength of the Australian crime writing scene. This year, the judges praised Jane Harper’s atmospheric and evocative outback mystery; Dervla McTiernan’s assured, complex and engaging procedural debut; and Bri Lee’s nuanced, impactful and important memoir.”

Congratulations to all the 2019 Ned Kelly Award winners!


The Ned Kelly Awards are proudly sponsored by Booktopia.

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About the Contributor

Olivia Fricot is the Editor of the Booktopian Blog. After finishing a soul-crushing law degree, she decided that life was much better with one's nose in a book and quickly defected to the world of Austen and Woolf. You can usually find her reading (obviously), baking, writing questionable tweets, and completing a Master's degree in English literature. Just don't ask about her thesis. Olivia is on Twitter and Instagram @livfricot - follow at your own risk.

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