The International Thriller Writers presented its fifth annual Thriller Awards at Manhattan’s Grand Hyatt Hotel the evening of July 10. Twist Phelan won the Best Short Story category with “A Stab in the Heart” (Ellery Queen Magazine). Best First Novel went to Jamie Freveletti for Running from the Devil (HarperCollins). Random House picked up Best Paperback Original for Tom Piccirilli’s The Coldest Mile and Best Hardcover Novel for Lisa Gardner’s The Neighbor. Mark Bowden (Blackhawk Down) received the first True Thriller Award.

Steve Berry, ITW’s co-president, announced that the organization would be sending five authors on a U.S.O tour to the Persian Gulf in the fall—himself, David Morrell, Douglas Preston, James Rollins, and Andy Harp. The organization has not released the exact locations and schedule for “Operation Thriller” due to security reasons.

Ken Follett (Pillars of the Earth) received this year’s ThrillerMaster Award from last year’s winner, David Morrell. Finally, Douglas Preston presented the Worst Review Award, which went to John Gilstrap for Nathan’s Run, which read, in part, “The glue boogers on the binding were more captivating than Gilstrap’s torpid prose.”