Alaric Hunt's debut crime novel, Cuts Through Bone received a $10,000 award and a publishing deal from Minotaur Books and the Private Eye Writers of America.
The twist in this story is, unbeknownst to the contest judges, is that Hunt is currently serving am life sentence in an US penitentiary. I guess the old adage to "write what you know" has some merit. Although it should be noted that this novel is not based on a real crime, let alone Hunt's personal experience.
The New York Times Magazine features a great article on the story
Regardless, the book was chosen for it's "fresh voice" and avoidance of crime novel cliches.
Cuts Through the Bone (M)
by Alaric Hunt
"Camille, a beautiful blond Columbia student and Manhattan heiress, is
found dead, shot by a gun that belonged to her fiancé - an Afghan war
veteran. To complicate matters, the murder could be part of a spree of
killings. Detectives Guthrie and Vasquez must find the real killer,
before the wrong man is turned into a convenient scapegoat." - publisher