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Pete's Gold Medal Pick - Beltie Mystery Prize

Beltie Mystery Prize – Gold Winner

Congratulations to Ryan Gattis and his novel Safe, the winner of the inaugural Beltie Mystery Prize for Crime Fiction.

After much internal back and forth due to the quality of the titles in the running I finally selected Safe because of my initial gut reaction which was “Whoa, this is something else!” I remember coming into the store the next morning gushing about this hard hitting novel set in L.A just before the Great Recession, raving to anyone willing to listen.

It’s a gritty urban Robin Hood story that morphs into a morality tale featuring a young safe-cracker working for the DEA, his loan officer girlfriend, and a tough guy gang member who wants to take his family and escape the violence that is his life. But, first he has to get back the money the safe-cracker has taken. Only then can he be free.

The writing, the characters, the story all blew me away and while I know it won’t appeal to everybody (what does?) Safe is easily the best piece of Crime Fiction I read in 2017. Now onto 2018 and a list that is growing and which will be hard to winnow down.


Check out the full slate of nominees here, and the shortlist here. Stiff competition in 2017- congrats, Ryan Gattis!