Belinda Bauer has won the Crime Writers' Association (CWA) Gold Dagger at the Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards 2010.
The author took home the best crime novel of the year award for her international bestseller Blacklands, overcoming a shortlist that included S.J. Bolton's Blood Harvest, The Way Home by George Pelecanos and Karen Campbell's Shadowplay.
Bauer commented: 'It was a thrill just to be shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger for my first novel, let alone to win. I'm still stunned and delighted that [Blacklands] seems to have struck a chord with so many people.'
The awards ceremony, which will be broadcast tomorrow (October 12th) on ITV3, also saw Simon Conway win the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for A Loyal Spy and Ryan David Jahn's Acts of Violence scoop the John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger 2010.
Frederick Forsyth and Pelecanos were also recognised for their outstanding contribution to the crime fiction genre by being inducted into the CWA's Hall of Fame.
Last year, William Brodrick was awarded the CWA Gold Dagger for A Whispered Name.