“FaceOff,” edited by David Baldacci (Simon & Schuster, 367 pages, in stores)
Say you’re in a bookstore or library, looking at the shelves of books by thriller writers. You’re wondering which book will keep you up all night reading because you just can’t put it down.
There are so many authors with the power to keep you turning pages. Among them are works by Dennis Lehane, Michael Connelly, Ian Rankin, Peter James, R.L. Stine, Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, M.J. Rose, Lisa Gardner, Steve Martini, Linda Fairstein, Jeffery Deaver, John Sanford, Healther Graham, F. Paul Wilson, Raymond Khoury, Linwood Barclay, John Lescroart, T. Jefferson Parker, Steve Berry, James Rollins, Lee Child and Joseph Finder.
Well, your choice just got easier. David Baldacci, another thriller writer, has edited a collection of short stories by these very authors. Eleven short stories in all, each featuring a favorite character of one author paired with a favorite character of another author.
For example — and this is what attracted me to this book — F. Paul Wilson’s Repairman Jack goes to New Orleans to find himself facing Heather Graham’s Michael Quinn in a New Orleans cemetery, fighting over a potentially evil relic that allows its user to hear other people’s thoughts.
Or James Rollins’ Gray Pierce and Steve Berry’s Cotton Malone working together to control a vial of deadly toxin on an Amazon River cruise that is under attack.
And there’s more, much more.
Baldacci tells us in his introduction that “FaceOff” is a product of the International Thriller Writers, a trade group consisting of thriller writers, industry specialists, agents, editors and fans. “If a writer is published by an ITW-recognized house (of which there are hundreds), then membership is free.”