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This is a one of a kind collection of short stories written by the top thriller writers in the world today. Simply put, this was a brilliant idea, teaming up series characters together. Leave it to the International Thriller Writers to come up with this terrific book! I even loved David Baldacci’s introduction.
This is a smart book, too. Each story has an introduction to the characters, in case you’re not familiar with them. And if you are, it’s always fun walking down memory lane with an old friend. The book ends with bios of all the participating authors; most are very well known, but if you haven’t read one or two, what a gift to find them here!
Starting off with Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch working with Dennis Lehane’s Patrick Kenzie had me hooked from page one. John Sandford’s Lucas Davenport meets up with Jeffery Deaver’s Lincoln Rhyme in the cleverly titled story, “Rhymes with Prey.”
I wasn’t surprised to see good friends James Rollins and Steve Berry have some fun with Cotton Malone and Gray Pierce. Lawyers go mano a mano with Steve Martini’s Paul Madriani and Linda Fairstein’s Alexandra Cooper. There are eleven stories altogether, all terrific pairings and great fun.
The book ends with Lee Child’s Jack Reacher meeting up with Joseph Finder’s Nick Heller, who Finder freely admits was inspired by Reacher. This is some beautiful choreography, a short story that clearly demonstrates why we love these characters.
If you’d like to win a copy of FACEOFF, read through to the end…
Q&A with Linwood Barclay
What was it like collaborating with Raymond Khoury on Pit Stop?
Collaborating on a story was a new experience for me. Generally speaking, it’s akin to a high-wire or trapeze act, except if it it goes wrong, you won’t plunge to your death, which is a bonus. You write a chapter, and email it away, like sending off that horizontal bar to a partner on the other side of the stage, sixty feet in the air. They may catch it, but when they send it back, will you be able to grab it? The suspense comes in the waiting, wondering what your co-writer will do, where he will send the story.
Why is Glen Garber a good pairing for Sean Reilly?
My Glen Garber character, and Raymond’s Sean Reilly were a good pairing. They’re actually very much alike. Strong-willed, tough, pragmatic, but not immune to emotion. But Reilly, as an FBI agent, is the pro, and Garber, a guy who builds houses, is the amateur. Plus, he’s got something very personal at stake in the story — his daughter — that Reilly does not. So they’re going to clash at that level. I think it’s possible, after the end of this story, that they could have become friends. At the very least, they’d go for a beer.
Can you tell us about the single line you emailed to Raymond that ignited the idea for this tale?
The line is: “Glen Garber had been given his coffee, but was still waiting for an order of chicken nuggets for his daughter, Kelly, when a woman raced into the restaurant screaming that some guy was on fire in the parking lot.” Where did it come from? Who knows. But I knew the story was going to involve Glen and his daughter, a couple of very ordinary people. And I knew they were going to get caught up in an extraordinary situation. I wanted a sentence that would combine those elements. The mundane (waiting in line for fast food) bumping up against the horrific (a man set ablaze). The line just happened. I wrote a few more hundred words, then sent it off to Raymond, who ramped up the mayhem in the next instalment. And then we were off.
EDITED BY DAVID BALDACCI
For the first time ever
the world’s greatest thriller characters meet head-to-head
in 11 electrifying stories
Where else will you be able to read about Jeffery Deaver’s Lincoln Rhyme meets John Sandford’s Lucas Davenport? Fans of Steve Berry’s Cotton Malone and James Rollins’ Gray Pierce have waited for years to see those characters together. Then there’s Lee Child’s Jack Reacher meeting up with Joseph Finder’s Nick Heller in a bar in Boston. Steve Martini’s Paul Madriani becoming entangled with Linda Fairstein’s Alex Cooper. Plus, you can’t forget the ever-odd Aloysius Pendergast coming face to face with the scary world of R.L. Stine.
In an unprecedented collaboration, twenty-three of the world’s bestselling and critically acclaimed thriller writers have paired their series characters in an eleven-story anthology curated by the International Thriller Writers (ITW). Edited by #1 New York Times bestselling author David Baldacci, FACEOFF (Simon & Schuster; June 3, 2014; $26.99) is a who’s who of not only the most beloved contemporary thriller writers, but also their iconic characters—putting them head-to-head with their most worthy opponents.
As worlds collide, the characters you think you know best are thrown into unpredictable situations and partnered with, pitted against, and, in some cases, romantically entangled with, characters you’d never suspect—and some that you would. With introductions to the stories that describes the writers, their characters, and a bit about the story’s creation, FACEOFF is truly a treasure trove for thriller fans.
The International Thriller Writers is an honorary society of authors, both fiction and nonfiction, who write books broadly classified as “thrillers.” This would include (but isn’t limited to) such subjects as murder mystery, detective, suspense, horror, supernatural, action, espionage, true crime, war, adventure, and myriad similar subject areas. One of the main purposes of the organization is to provide a way for successful, bestselling authors to help debut and midlist authors advance their careers. In addition, ITW promotes literacy, gives money to worthy organizations, supports libraries, and advances the genre. For more information, visit: www.thrillerwriters.org.
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