Dennis Lehane wins the Pepe Carvalho Award

Dennis_Lehane_BBF_2010_Shankbone_cropNorth American writer Dennis Lehane has won the 2017 Pepe Carvalho Award. The prize is given by the Barcelona City Council and aims to give particular recognition to prestigious national and international crime fiction writers. .

The jury formed by Antoni Iturbe, Andreu Martin, Rosa Mora, Daniel Vázquez Sallés, Sergio Vila-Sanjuán and Paco Camarasa, has considered that Lehane, both through his characters Patrick McKenzie and Angie Gennaro as in his other novels and stories, analyses and delves in the behaviour of the complex todays American society. 

The action of Dennis Lehane’s novels unfolds in cities such as Boston and in neighbourhoods such as Dorchester, but in their streets ‘are also our streets, our neighbourhoods and cities’, highlights the jury, which states that, as with the work of Manuel Vazquez Montalban, with this writer ‘we know better our communities thanks to his narrative ability and the mastery of the word’.

Dennis Lehane grew up in the Dorchester section of Boston. Since his first novel, A Drink Before the War, won the Shamus Award, he’s published nine more novels with William Morrow that have been translated into more than 30 languages and become international bestsellers: Darkness, Take My Hand; Sacred; Gone Baby Gone; Prayers for Rain; Mystic River; Shutter Island; The Given Day; Moonlight Mile; and Live By Night, which won the Edgar Award for Best Novel in 2013. Morrow also published Coronado, a collection of five stories and a play. Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone, and Shutter Island have been made into award-winning films, and the film rights for Live by Night are under option to Warner Bros. with Ben Affleck producing, writing, directing, and starring. Lehane adapted his short story Animal Rescue, which appeared in “Playboy” as well as in Boston Noir, a collection published by Akashic Books, into a feature film called The Drop for the Chernin Company and Fox Searchlight, starring Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, and James Gandolfini. He then transformed the screenplay for The Drop into a novel, which was published by William Morrow in August 2014 to coincide with the film’s US release. Lehane was a staff writer for HBO’s The Wire, and is a writer/producer on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire. He has taught fiction and literature at the Harvard Extension School, the Stonecoast MFA Program, and Tufts University. Before becoming a full-time writer, Mr Lehane worked as a counselor with mentally handicapped and abused children, waited tables, parked cars, drove limos, worked in bookstores, and loaded tractor-trailers. He and his wife and children divide their time between Boston and Los Angeles. (Source:

The prize shall be awarded within the framework of the next literary festival BCNegra, which will take place in Barcelona between 27 January and 4 February 2017.

Source: Europa Press

The Pepe Carvalho Award is a tribute to the memory of Spanish writer Manuel Vázquez Montalban and his famous detective Pepe Carvalho, who contributed to the revival of crime fiction in Europe in the 70s. Lehane is the latest to win the award and joins a list made up of: Donna Leon (2016), Alicia Giménez Bartlett (2015), Andrea Camilleri (2014), Maj Sjöwall (2013), Petros Màrkaris (2012), Andreu Martín (2011), Ian Rankin (2010), Michael Connelly (2009), P.D. James (2008), Henning Mankell (2007) and Francisco González Ledesma (2006).

Above image: Dennis Lehane at the 2010 Brooklyn Book Festival. On 12 September 2010, picture taken by David Shankbone. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Perhaps it might be the right time to start reading the Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro books. I have Darkness, Take My Hand (Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro #2) in my Kindle, awaiting to be read.

4 thoughts on “Dennis Lehane wins the Pepe Carvalho Award”

  1. He joins some pretty good company from many nations there, Jose! I love his writing – he’s an autobuy author for me! Although I must admit I prefer his standalone books to his Kenzie/Gennaro series – just a smidgeon. My favourite is probably Mystic River – great movie too, then Shutter Island – recorded the movie at the weekend, can’t wait to see it, fabulous twist. I’m looking forward to reading his Joe Coughlin trilogy (I think it’s a trilogy) too. I first read The Drop as a short story, and it’s got a killer twist. Now you’ve put me in the mood to read him, Jose….!

    1. I’ve not read any Lehane books yet, though I’ve seen all the films based on his books and stories. Agree Mystic River is among my favourite films. I also enjoyed The Drop very much. Don’t know why I’m less keen to read his standalones since have already seen the films. Anyway I’ll give it a try also to his Joe Coughlin trilogy. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. I am a big fan of Dennis Lehane, though there are still a few I haven’t read. Shutter Island is a fantastic book, and so is Gone Baby Gone (and sequel Moonlight Mile). Thanks for sharing the news about him.

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