Arthur Ellis Award: A Devil of a Win

TORONTO — The Devil’s Cinema has won the Arthur Ellis Award — Canada’s top literary prize in crime writing — as a “well-paced, hard-to-put-down, real-life thriller” exploring the Mark Twitchell criminal case and “Dexter Killer” trial.

Here’s what the jury had to say in its award citation:

“A well-written and researched exploration of a very dark side of a young would-be filmmaker. … The horrific crimes and the trial of Edmontonian Mark Twitchell is deftly presented by Steve Lillebuen in a book that is a well-paced, hard-to-put-down, real-life thriller.”

The award is an incredible honour. I come from a breaking news background, so getting the chance to write the book in the first place was like jumping off the treadmill and straight into a marathon. To have my first attempt at running this race recognised by the Crime Writers of Canada is such a thrill and a real mix of luck and gratitude.

I’ve already thanked many people since the award was announced on May 30th in Toronto. But I must make special mention of the dozens of sources who agreed to be interviewed.

Journalists can’t document history unless sources will cooperate. So many people did. This is their tragic story, and I’m thrilled it has resonated with so many readers around the world.

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