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Overview

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781476762074
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 12/01/2015
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 139,301
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Introduction by #1 New York Times bestselling author David Baldacci and stories by Lee Child, Michael Connelly, John Sandford, Lisa Gardner, Dennis Lehane, Steve Berry, Jeffery Deaver, Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, James Rollins, Joseph Finder, Steve Martini, Heather Graham, Ian Rankin, Linda Fairstein, M.J. Rose, R.L. Stine, Raymond Khoury, Linwood Barclay, John Lescroart, T. Jefferson Parker, F. Paul Wilson, and Peter James.

Hometown:

Northern Virginia

Date of Birth:

August 5, 1960

Place of Birth:

Richmond, VIrginia

Education:

B.A. in Political Science, Virginia Commonwealth University, 1982; J.D., University of Virginia, 1986

Read an Excerpt

Face Off
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.

You’re in for a real treat.

So let the face-offs begin.

David Baldacci

June 2014

Table of Contents

Introduction David Baldacci xiii

Red Eye: Dennis Lehane vs. Michael Connelly Patrick Kenzie vs. Harry Bosch 4

In the Nick of Time: Ian Rankin vs. Peter James John Rebus vs. Hoy Grace 32

Gaslighted: R. L. Stine vs. Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child Slappy the Ventriloquist Dummy vs. Aloysius Pendergast 53

The Laughing Buddha: M. J. Rose vs. Lisa Gardner Malachai Samuels vs. D. D. Warren 76

Surfing the Panther: Steve Martini vs. Linda Fairstein Paul Madriani vs. Alexandra Cooper 113

Rhymes With Prey: Jeffery Deaver vs. John Sandford Lincoln Rhyme vs. Lucas Davenport 148

Infernal Night: Heather Graham vs. F. Paul Wilson Michael Quinn vs. Repairman Jack 215

Pit Stop: Raymond Khoury vs. Linwood Barclay Sean Reilly vs. Glen Garber 247

Silent Hunt: John Lescroart vs. T. Jefferson Parker Wyatt Hunt vs. Joe Trona 282

The Devil's Bones: Steve Berry vs. James Rollins Cotton Malone vs. Gray Pierce 310

Good and Valuable Consideration: Lee Child vs. Joseph Finder Jack Reacher vs. Nick Heller 338

Author Biographies David Baldacci 357

Interviews

FACEOFF: Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly

Barnes & Noble Social Media Editor Molly Schoemann-McCann had a conversation with Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly, whose story ''Red Eye,'' starring their series heroes Patrick Kenzie and Harry Bosch, opens the FACEOFF thriller anthology.

How did you get paired together in the FACEOFF anthology?

Dennis Lehane: By height, I'm pretty sure. Or the shared ginger tint of our hair. Michael Connelly: We didn't need to do anything. I was asked by Steve Berry if I would work on a story with Dennis and I said sure. Dennis and I have known each other about twenty years. I figured if I was going to put Harry Bosch into the hands of another writer there could be no better choice.

How are Patrick Kenzie and Harry Bosch similar to or different from one another? Which qualities does each man bring to the case in "Red Eye"?

DL: I can't get too Dr. Freud on this without feeling silly but if I had to guess I'd say Bosch is more aware of his own internal damage. Patrick, for me anyway, has always been a character who deflects a lot. It's why he's good with a one liner. Humor is his shield.

MC: I think they are a lot alike but it's sort of a case of Mr. Insider and Mr. Outsider. Harry carries a badge and that makes him part of the establishment, a representative of the state. Patrick is a private eye and that makes him a classic outsider. That's why I think pairing them was kind of a cool idea. While they approach investigations from that significantly different angle they are both no doubt relentless men. They are self-observing and self-questioning but relentless all the way.

How did you come up with the story's title? Did that "job" belong to one of you?

DL: That was Michael. He sent me that title and I thought, Okay. Box checked. No heavy lifting required on my part in the title department.

You talk a little in FACEOFF about your process, sending pages back and forth — was that daunting, or a refreshing change of pace?

DL: It was fun. We have very different voices so I was interested to see how much those styles would clash. But instead they fused together pretty nicely.

MC: It started with the basic agreement that the only way this would realistically work would be if Harry went to Boston on a case. This would make him a fish out of water and more willing to grab onto a private eye for help. To further his disorientation I had him fly out on a red eye. It sort of became the obvious title.

How did you originally dream up Patrick Kenzie? And how did you decide on his name and where he came from?

DH: I dreamed up his father first. But I did it from first person point-of-view so I knew pretty quickly that it was the owner of that POV that I was really interested in. And that was Patrick. I have zero idea where the name Kenzie came from, unless subconsciously I lifted it from Kenzie Kids, which was a Boston area children's clothing store chain. As for Patrick, I just knew he was really, really Irish and that he hated being called "Pat."

How about Harry Bosch?

MC: I was a newspaper reporter and knew a lot of detectives. Harry's origin is with them and the many fictional detectives from books and films that influenced me. I named him after a fifteenth-century painter because the paintings of Hieronymus Bosch were full of chaos and torture and the wages of sin. I saw the parallels to crime scenes and the places Detective Bosch would inhabit.

If you paired them up again, would you send Kenzie to L.A.?

DL: Patrick in L.A. would be hilarious. He'd probably get deported for aggressive use of irony or sarcasm. Barring that, his pale-ass skin might spontaneously combust. But it'd be fun to watch him try to figure his way around Silver Lake or Brentwood or just see his reaction to the plastic surgery parade.

MC: I think it would be good to see the bookending of this where Patrick came to LA. Of course, now they know each other and so Patrick would be able to just call Bosch up and say, "This is what I need."

FACEOFF marks the first time all of these bestselling writers have paired their characters together in stories. Now that Bosch and Kenzie have had their moment, who else would you like to see each guy paired up with and why?

DL: Since you've already put L.A. in my head, I suspect Patrick might have some fun and kinship with Elvis Cole. Not sure about Joe Pike, but I think he'd get along famously with Elvis.

MC: There are countless possibilities: Jack Reacher, Derek Strange, Angela Gennaro come to mind.

June 12, 2014

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