Crime writer Ian Vasquez was honored on Friday, Oct. 16, for his first novel, In the Heat.
Vasquez, a copy editor for the St. Petersburg Times in Florida was the recipient of the Shamus Award.
The Private Eye Writers of America gives out annual awards to recognize outstanding achievement in the genre. Past winners of the Best First Novel award include Dennis Lehane (author of Mystic River
) , John Connolly (author of Every Dead Thing
) and Walter Mosley (author of Devil in a Blue Dress
Set in Belize, In the Heat
tells the story of former boxer Miles Young, who, in order to get his chance at one last big fight, accepts the job of finding a missing 17-year-old girl.
A review of the novel in the St. Petersburg Times compared Vasquez to Florida crime-writing icon John D. MacDonald.
Vasquez's second novel, Lonesome Point
, was published this year. It is a noir tale of two feuding brothers and is set in Belize, Miami and Central Florida.
He has already finished his third novel, Mr. Hooligan
, which will be published next year and is also set in Belize.
The award winning novel In the Heat
is available in Belize at Tradewinds Advertising, 1455 Coney Drive, Belize City and at Brodies.