An instant New York Times and USA TODAY bestseller and “a thriller reader’s ultimate fantasy” (Booklist), this one-of-a-kind anthology pulls together the most beloved characters from the best and most popular thriller series today. Worlds collide!
In an unprecedented collaboration, twenty-three of the world’s bestselling and critically acclaimed thriller writers pair their series characters in an eleven-story anthology curated by the International Thriller Writers (ITW).
The stories in FaceOff feature: -Patrick Kenzie vs. Harry Bosch in “Red Eye,” by Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly -John Rebus vs. Roy Grace in “In the Nick of Time,” by Ian Rankin and Peter James -Slappy the Ventriloquist Dummy vs. Aloysius Pendergast in “Gaslighted,” by R.L. Stine, Douglas Preston, and Lincoln Child -Malachai Samuels vs. D.D. Warren in “The Laughing Buddha,” by M.J. Rose and Lisa Gardner -Paul Madriani vs. Alexandra Cooper in “Surfing the Panther,” by Steve Martini and Linda Fairstein -Lincoln Rhyme vs. Lucas Davenport in “Rhymes With Prey,” by Jeffery Deaver and John Sandford -Michael Quinn vs. Repairman Jack in “Infernal Night,” by Heather Graham and F. Paul Wilson -Sean Reilly vs. Glen Garber in “Pit Stop,” by Raymond Khoury and Linwood Barclay -Wyatt Hunt vs. Joe Trona in “Silent Hunt,” by John Lescroart and T. Jefferson Parker -Cotton Malone vs. Gray Pierce in “The Devil’s Bones,” by Steve Berry and James Rollins -Jack Reacher vs. Nick Heller in “Good and Valuable Consideration,” by Lee Child and Joseph Finder
So sit back and prepare for a rollicking ride as your favorite characters go head-to-head with some worthy opponents in FaceOff—it’s a thrill-a-minute read.
Face Off Introduction In 2004 two accomplished thriller writers harbored a dream. Their names: Gayle Lynds and David Morrell. To that point both Gayle and David had enjoyed long and successful careers. But something was missing. The ‘who-done-its’ had Mystery Writers of America. Those who specialize in fear, the Horror Writers Association. And the Romance Writers Association had long numbered thousands of members.
Every genre seemed to have a trade group.
Except thriller writers.
So Gayle and David decided to start one.
It began in Toronto on October 9, 2004, and from that small beginning sprang International Thriller Writers. Today over 2,500 men and women, from forty-nine countries around the world, hold membership. Eighty percent are working thriller writers. The rest are industry specialists, agents, editors, and fans. Every July the genre gathers in New York City for Thrillerfest. It’s quite literally summer camp for thriller writers and thriller enthusiasts. The Thriller, awarded every year in a variety of categories, is now the prize thriller writers covet, since it was both created and bestowed by their peers.
From its beginning ITW strived to innovate. Doing what everyone else had done was never in its business plan. So, in 2007, when board member (and superb British thriller writer) David Hewson suggested that the organization not charge dues the idea was immediately embraced. If a writer is published by an ITW-recognized house (of which there are hundreds), then membership is free.
So how would the organization sustain itself? Pay its bills?
The answer came in another innovative way.
The organization would create its own books that would be sold to publishing houses, the revenue from which would generate operating capital.
Risky? You bet. Gutsy? Definitely.
But an idea right up ITW’s alley.
ITW’s first publication, Thriller (2006), was the first anthology of thriller short stories ever compiled (remember that precept about never doing what others had done). Thirty-three ITW members donated stories. James Patterson (an ITW member) agreed to serve as editor, and the result became one of the most popular anthologies of all time—selling over 500,000 copies worldwide. The revenue from that groundbreaking book not only provided ITW with initial operating money, it also endowed the organization. Thriller 2 (2009) and Love Is Murder (2012) followed. Keeping with this innovative theme ITW published the first audio book ever written only for the ear: The Chopin Manuscript, which became a resounding success. Edited by the incomparable Jeffery Deaver (an ITW member), Chopin was named the 2008 Audio Book of the Year. That was followed by another audio success, The Copper Bracelet. A move into the world of nonfiction came with Thrillers: 100 Must-Reads, edited by David Morrell and Hank Wagner, which continues to garner widespread critical acclaim. Another ITW board member, the legendary R. L. Stine (creator of Goosebumps), led the organization into the world of young adult fiction with Fear. Annually, ITW shepherds a class of writers through their challenging inaugural year in what is known as the Debut Author Program. First Thrills, edited by ITW founding member Lee Child, became an anthology of stories from the 2011 class.
What an impressive résumé.
All created by author-editors who volunteer their time and writers who donate their stories. Nearly every single penny earned from ITW’s publications has gone to the organization.
And that will be the case with this book.
I joined ITW early on. I agreed with Gayle and David. It was time for an organization of thriller writers. I’ve been waiting for a project where I could become more involved with the group, so when I was approached about editing FaceOff I immediately said yes.
The entire concept intrigued me.
Take iconic writers with iconic characters and face them off against each other. Normally, this could never happen. Each writer is under contract to his or her own respective publishing house. Teaming with another writer, from another house, and combining characters would contractually be impossible. Which house would publish the story? No way to make that call. And no way either house would allow the story to be published by a third company. Only with ITW’s model—that the stories are donated and the money goes to the organization—would this work.
So this volume is truly a once-in-a-lifetime event.
All of the contributors are ITW members. All eagerly agreed to participate. When I was told that ITW founding member Steve Berry, who worked with James Patterson on Thriller, would offer assistance as managing editor, I was thrilled. He’s the glue that held this project together. Thanks, Steve, for all you did.
And thanks to all of the contributors.
Where else will you be able to see Jeffery Deaver’s Lincoln Rhyme meet John Sandford’s Lucas Davenport? Or Patrick Kenzie entering the world of Harry Bosch? Fans of Steve Berry’s Cotton Malone and James Rollins’s Gray Pierce have clamored 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—and doing what Reacher does best. Plus Steve Martini’s Paul Madriani becoming entangled with Linda Fairstein’s Alex Cooper. And the ever-odd Aloysius Pendergast coming face-to-face with the scary world of R. L. Stine.
These are just a few examples of what lies in the pages ahead. All of the stories come with an introduction that describes the writers, their characters, and a bit about the story’s gestation. At the end of the book are contributor biographies—a way to learn more about each of these amazing talents.
Lee Child, previously a television director, union organizer, theater technician, and law student, was fired and on the dole when he hatched a harebrained scheme to write a bestselling novel, thus saving his family from ruin. Killing Floor went on to win worldwide acclaim. The Midnight Line, is his twenty-second Reacher novel. The hero of his series, Jack Reacher, besides being fictional, is a kindhearted soul who allows Lee lots of spare time for reading, listening to music, and watching Yankees and Aston Villa games. Lee was born in England but now lives in New York City and leaves the island of Manhattan only when required to by forces beyond his control. Visit Lee online at LeeChild.com for more information about the novels, short stories, and the movies Jack Reacher and Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, starring Tom Cruise. Lee can also be found on Facebook: LeeChildOfficial, Twitter: @LeeChildReacher, and YouTube: LeeChildJackReacher.
Michael Connelly is the author of the recent #1 New York Times bestsellers The Drop, The Fifth Witness, The Reversal, The Scarecrow, The Brass Verdict, and The Lincoln Lawyer, as well as the bestselling Harry Bosch series of novels. He is a former newspaper reporter who has won numerous awards for his journalism and his novels. He spends his time in California and Florida.
Lisa Gardner is the #1 New York Times and internationally bestselling author of more than twenty novels, including seven thrillers in the D.D. Warren series. With more than twenty-two million books in print, she is published in thirty countries and counting. Lisa lives in New England with her family, as well as two highly spoiled dogs and one extremely neurotic three-legged cat.
Dennis Lehane is the author of ten novels, including the New York Times bestsellers Gone, Baby, Gone; Mystic River; Shutter Island; The Given Day; Moonlight Mile; and Live by Night, as well as Coronado, a collection of short stories and a play. He and his wife, Angie, divide their time between Boston and the Gulf Coast of Florida.
Steve Berry is the New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author of The Patriot Threat, The Lincoln Myth, The King’s Deception, The Columbus Affair, The Jefferson Key, The Emperor’s Tomb, The Paris Vendetta, The Charlemagne Pursuit, The Venetian Betrayal, The Alexandria Link, The Templar Legacy, The Third Secret, The Romanov Prophecy, and The Amber Room. His books have been translated into forty languages with 19,000,000 copies in fifty-one countries. For more information, visit SteveBerry.org.
Jeffery Deaver is the international, #1 bestselling author of more than twenty-seven suspense novels, including The Bone Collector, which was made into a film starring Denzel Washington. He lives in North Carolina.
Douglas Preston is the author of more than thirty books, both fiction and nonfiction, more than twenty of which have been New York Times bestsellers. He has worked as an editor at the American Museum of Natural History in New York and taught nonfiction writing at Princeton University. His first novel, Relic, coauthored with Lincoln Child, was made into a movie, and launched the famed Pendergast series of novels. His recent nonfiction book, The Monster of Florence, is also being made into a film. In addition to books, Preston writes about archaeology and paleontology for the New Yorker, National Geographic, and Smithsonian.
James Rollins is the New York Times bestselling author of the Sigma Force series. Blending science and history his action-adventure novels have been praised as “enormously engrossing” (NPR) and “smart, entertaining adventure fiction” (New York Journal of Books). Before pursuing a writing career he obtained a degree in veterinary medicine and established a successful practice in California. He currently resides in the Sierra Nevada mountains.
Joseph Finder is the New York Times bestselling author of eleven novels, including Suspicion and Vanished. Finder’s international bestseller Killer Instinct won ITW’s Thriller Award for Best Novel of 2006. Other bestselling titles include Paranoia and High Crimes, which both became major motion pictures. He lives in Boston.
Steve Martini was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay area. An honors graduate of the University of California at Santa Cruz, he holds a law degree from the University of the Pacific's McGeorge School of Law. During his legal career, he worked as a legislative representative for the State Bar of California, served as special counsel to the California Victims of Violent Crimes Program, and was an administrative law judge and supervising hearing officer. In 1984 Martini turned his talents to fiction, and became a New York Times bestselling author of twelve novels, including eight featuring his popular lawyer alter ego, Paul Madriani.
New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Heather Graham has written more than a hundred novels. She’s a winner of the RWA’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Thriller Writers’ Silver Bullet. She is an active member of International Thriller Writers and Mystery Writers of America. For more information, check out her websites: TheOriginalHeatherGraham.com, eHeatherGraham.com, and HeatherGraham.tv. You can also find Heather on Facebook.
Ian Rankin is an award-winning, bestselling crime writer best known for his Inspector Rebus novels. He is a winner of the Edgar Award, the Crime Writers of America Silver Dagger Award, and the Raymond Chandler Fulbright Fellowship, among others. He lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, with his partner and two sons.
Linda Fairstein was chief of the Sex Crimes Unit of the district attorney’s office in Manhattan for more than two decades and is America’s foremost legal expert on sexual assault and domestic violence. Her Alexandra Cooper novels are international bestsellers and have been translated into more than a dozen languages. She lives in Manhattan and on Martha’s Vineyard.
New York Times bestselling author M. J. Rose grew up in New York City exploring the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum and the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park. She is the author of more than a dozen novels, a founding board member of International Thriller Writers, and the founder of the first marketing company for authors, AuthorBuzz.com. She lives in Connecticut. Visit her online at MJRose.com.
R.L. Stine invented the teen horror genre with Fear Street, the bestselling teen horror series of all time. He also changed the face of children’s publishing with the mega-successful Goosebumps series, which Guinness World Records cites as the Bestselling Children’s Books ever, and went on to become a worldwide multimedia phenomenon. He lives in New York City with his wife, Jane, and their dog, Nadine.
Raymond Khoury is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of four Reilly adventures, as well as two standalone thrillers. His debut novel, The Last Templar, spent twenty weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and was adapted for television by NBC. His books have been translated into over forty languages and sold over ten million copies.
Linwood Barclay spent twenty-seven years at Canada’s largest paper, the Toronto Star, until 2004 when he published Bad Move and became a full-time writer of thrillers. He has published more than a dozen novels, including the bestsellers No Time for Goodbye and Trust Your Eyes, which has been optioned by Warner Bros. for film.
John Lescroart is the author of over twenty-eight novels, including the New York Times bestsellers The Ophelia Cut, The Keeper, The Fall, and Fatal. His books have sold more than ten-million copies and have been translated into twenty-two languages. He lives in Northern California.
Peter James is the #1 international bestselling author of the Roy Grace series, with more than eighteen million copies sold all over the world. His novels have been translated into thirty-seven languages and many are in development for TV and film including the Roy Grace series. All of his novels reflect his deep interest in the world of the police, with whom he does in-depth research. He lives in England.
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