Belizean writer Ian Vasquez wins award for successful 1st novel

Crime writer Ian Vasquez of Belize has been honored by the Private Eye Writers of America for his first published novel In the Heat.  Vasquez, a copy editor for the St. Petersburg Times in Florida, received 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 tale of two feuding brothers, set in Belize, Miami and Central Florida. Ian has already finished his third novel, Mr. Hooligan, which is also set in Belize. It will be published next year.

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