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This “highly recommended” (Publishers Weekly, starred review) collection edited by New York Times bestselling author Lee Child pairs the beloved characters of twenty-two internationally bestselling writers in “a must-read for fans of the thriller genre. Very rarely does this kind of star power assemble for one anthology, and each story delivers the goods” (The Real Book Spy).

The incredible follow-up to FaceOff features twenty-two of the world’s bestselling and critically acclaimed thriller writers pairing their series characters in an eleven-story anthology curated by the International Thriller Writers (ITW). MatchUp takes the never-before-seen bestseller pairings of FaceOff and adds a delicious new twist: gender. “Think Dancing With the Stars, but with mysteries” (Booklist) as eleven of the world’s best female thriller writers from Diana Gabaldon to Kathy Reichs to Charlaine Harris are paired with eleven of the world’s best male thriller writers, including John Sandford, C.J. Box, and Nelson DeMille, among others. “This box holds a chocolate or two that will be to everyone’s liking” (Kirkus Reviews).

In these innovative stories, their beloved protagonists, Lee Coburn, Joe Pickett, and Jack Reacher—just to name a few—team up to unnerve and satisfy thriller fans worldwide. All of the contributors are ITW members, and the project is edited by ITW member and #1 New York Times bestselling author Lee Child. The lineup includes:

Sandra Brown’s Lee Coburn vs. C. J. Box’s Joe Pickett
Val McDermid’s Tony Hill vs. Peter James’s Roy Grace
Kathy Reichs’s Temperance Brennan vs. Lee Child’s Jack Reacher
Diana Gabaldon’s Jamie Fraser vs. Steve Berry’s Cotton Malone
Gayle Lynds’s Liz Sansborough vs. David Morrell’s Rambo
Karin Slaughter’s Jeffrey Tolliver vs. Michael Koryta’s Joe Pritchard
Charlaine Harris’s Harper Connelly vs. Andrew Gross’s Ty Hauck
Lisa Jackson’s Regan Pescoli vs. John Sandford’s Virgil Flower
Lara Adrian’s Lucan Thorne vs. Christopher Rice’s Lilliane
Lisa Scottoline’s Bennie Rosato vs. Nelson DeMille’s John Corey
J.A. Jance’s Ali Reynolds vs. Eric Van Lustbader’s Bravo Shaw

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781501141607
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 06/05/2018
Series: MatchUp Collection
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 464
Sales rank: 235,372
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Edited and introduced by #1 New York Times bestselling author Lee Child and stories by Sandra Brown, C.J. Box, Val McDermid, Peter James, Kathy Reichs, Diana Gabaldon, Steve Berry, Gayle Lynds, David Morrell, Karin Slaughter, Michael Koryta, Charlaine Harris, Andrew Gross, Lisa Jackson, John Sandford, Lara Adrian, Christopher Rice, Lisa Scottoline, Nelson DeMille, J.A. Jance, and Eric Van Lustbader.


Birmingham, England

Date of Birth:


Place of Birth:

Coventry, England


Sheffield University

Read an Excerpt


  • SANDRA BROWN BEGAN WRITING IN 1981. Before that she worked as a model and in television, including weathercasting and feature reporting on the nationally syndicated program PM Magazine. And though she’s published over seventy novels, with over eighty million copies in print worldwide, she admits to one handicap.

    She’s short story challenged.

    “It’s just not something I’ve written a whole lot of,” she says.

    Luckily, C. J. Box does not suffer from that affliction, which made him the perfect partner for Sandra. Chuck is a Wyoming native and has worked as a ranch hand, surveyor, fishing guide, and small-town newspaper reporter, and he’s even owned an international tourism marketing firm. He has over twenty novels to his credit, and short stories are not unfamiliar. He also has a character, Joe Pickett, so the idea was to connect Sandra’s Lee Coburn with Pickett. By a stroke of great luck, at the end of Sandra’s 2011 novel Lethal, Coburn ended up in, of all places, Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

    Which is Joe Pickett country.

    Talk about fate.

    Everything just got easier after that.

    Together, Sandra and Chuck plotted the story. Then Chuck wrote the first draft and sent it to Sandra for an edit and rewrite. They went back and forth, until both were pleased with the outcome. Chuck’s comment summed it all up.

    “Sandra was a dream to work with it.”

    You’re going to like this unexpected encounter between two of the most rugged protagonists out there today. Both harken back to another time, and the story’s title poses an interesting question.

    Honor & . . .

  • Customer Reviews

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    MatchUp 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I was impressed with the stories, they kept getting better and better. Some of the main characters I had never heard of, but I will search them out from now on. Thank you for an excellent reading experience.
    cloggiedownunder More than 1 year ago
    Match Up is an anthology of eleven short stories written by twenty-two authors. Lee Child edited, wrote the forward and also contributed to one of the stories. All the authors are published (no novices here) and most are well-known. But not all are experienced in writing short stories, or in collaborating with other authors. Each story is prefaced by some commentary about how the collaboration worked, and there is an author biography for each one at the end. It’s an interesting concept, to match up eleven male/female authors and get them to create a story that brings together characters for whom they are each well known. Thus we have Ty Hauck investigating with Harper Connelly in a story which, sadly, sees Tolliver Lang take a back seat. Jeffrey Tolliver teams up with Joe Pritchard and Lincoln Perry, Tempe Brennan gets a much-needed hand from Jack Reacher, Cotton Malone finds himself in 18th Century Scotland meeting a certain Jamie Fraser, and so on. Some are straight up crime fiction, but there are a few with paranormal elements, and there’s plenty of humour. For die-hard fans of the authors featured, this will be a little extra dose of their favourite characters; for readers unfamiliar with the authors, this provides a taste of the author’s work, maybe giving them an idea of what the fuss is about. They are all short stories, so not much time investment is needed, most are excellent and some even add a little to the character’s back story. Quite enjoyable.
    Twink More than 1 year ago
    I'm leaving the cover of Matchup a little larger this time so you can see the wealth of authors who contributed to this compilation. But if you look again, you'll see that they are paired - pairings that you wouldn't expect to see. For in Matchup, two well known authors have take their signature characters and co-written a short story featuring the two. Lee Child is the editor and he provides a small commentary before each story, giving some background on the authors as well as the collaboration. I have read many of these authors and it was nice to see familiar characters again, but a few were new to me. Matchup was a great way to get idea of who these characters were. Some of the pairings had me wondering how in the world two quite different leads would work together. Diana Gabaldon and Steve Berry? Sandra Brown and C.J. Box? Well, the answer is - really well. The stories are clever, fun to read and satisfying. I enjoy short story collections as you can pick them up and down, easily (and satisfyingly) finishing a story at a short sitting. I chose to listen to Matchup and I'm so glad I did. There are a number of narrators as well. I had listened to some of them before, but a few were new to me. This was also a great opportunity to discover some new audio book readers. It's really hard to pull out favourite stories, as I did truly enjoy them all. But if pressed I would say Lee Child and Kathy Reichs were a favourite. Tempe bossing Reacher around was great fun. And I also really liked Karin Slaughter and Michael Koryta. Koryta was new to me, but I am going to pick up one of his Joe Pritchard books after this introduction. Slaughter gives us a look at a young Jeffery Tolliver that was fun. I am a huge fan of both Peter James and Val McDermid. Having both Tony Hill and Roy Grace on the same case was wonderful. I really enjoyed Matchup and hope we can see another collection such as this.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I'm not through the book yet, but I've liked everything so far. And then there's the vampire story. ?????
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    See headline.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This is a great mystery/thriller anthology. These short stories are definitely unique, since they are written by paired up authors. Some you not even expect to be writing together. Many of the 22 authors were familiar to me, but I also have a few new ones that I'm anxious to check out. I'd also read Faceoff when it was released, which is why I picked up Matchup to read. Very well done. Might there be another anthology in the works?
    3no7 More than 1 year ago
    “Matchup” is a must-have anthology for every mystery reader. It is a collection of eleven unexpected short stories by twenty–two top mystery writers. In this collection, each female author was paired with a male writer, and each diverse pair collaborated on one story. These partnerships produced some outstanding tales with complexity and surprise. I previously read “Faceoff” and thought nothing could beat that anthology, but this one certainly comes close, perhaps even outdoing that book. These partnerships will probably never write together again, making the collection even more intriguing. A collection such as this allows a fan of mystery books to read and finish a compelling story all in one sitting. It is perfect for plane trips, car rides, appointments, or while waiting for car repairs. (You know where I have been this week.) I always have a couple of anthologies ready to pick up when I leave the house. With this one, I have already read a couple of the selections more than once because they were just so off-the-wall interesting. I received an advance copy of this collection from Simon and Schuster to review, and it makes great reading when waiting for others (CHILDREN) to finish practice, or lessons, or games, or meetings, or afte-rschool events – and the list goes on! I can read these mystery “matchups” again and again and love them each time.