The Crime Writers’ Association is awarding its highest honour, the CWA Diamond Dagger, to acclaimed author Peter James. During an illustrious career in writing, Peter James has proved he is a master storyteller penning 28 novels and selling 16 million books worldwide.

It is with his series of crime books featuring the adventures of Detective Superintendent Roy Grace that Peter has most deeply impressed. Committed to telling the truth about life inside the British police force, Peter has forged strong links to the Sussex police, often going out alongside working police officers and detectives to observe the reality of their jobs. This research gives his work an authenticity respected by working detectives and that thrills his readers. "Peter James is King of the Police Procedural," says the CWA chair Len Tyler. "His books combine up-to-the-minute accuracy with tight plotting and a fast pace.

Over the past thirty 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." The CWA Diamond Dagger is awarded each year to a writer who has a career marked by sustained excellence. Past winners have included literary giants such as Lee Child, Frederick Forsyth, Val McDermid and Elmore Leonard. Part of the CWA Dagger Awards, the CWA Diamond Dagger is the most prestigious prize the Association can bestow.

"I’ve always felt that the CWA Diamond Dagger stands head and shoulders above all the myriad awards in the world for crime and thriller writing," says Peter James. "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. I remember attending the ceremonies in my earliest days as young, struggling writer, watching the annual presentations, listening to the acceptance speeches, and dreaming that one that 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."

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