Overview

A New York Times and USA TODAY bestseller

Edited by #1 New York Times bestselling author David Baldacci and including stories by Michael Connelly, Lee Child, Jeffery Deaver, and more, 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...
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FaceOff

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Overview

A New York Times and USA TODAY bestseller

Edited by #1 New York Times bestselling author David Baldacci and including stories by Michael Connelly, Lee Child, Jeffery Deaver, and more, 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 have paired their series characters—such as Harry Bosch, Jack Reacher, and Lincoln Rhyme—in an eleven-story anthology curated by the International Thriller Writers (ITW). All of the contributors to FaceOff are ITW members and the stories feature these dynamic duos:

· 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.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
★ 05/15/2014
Since 2006, the International Thriller Writers (ITW) organization has published multiple anthologies (Thriller, edited by James Patterson; Love Is Murder, edited by Sandra Brown) and audiobooks to become self-supporting. This one-of-a-kind collection consists of 11 stories featuring 22 authors—all ITW members—who pair off to present their iconic characters together in the same tale, whether a mystery, a courtroom drama, or an edge-of-your-seat, fast-paced thriller, with rip-roaring success. Lee Child's Jack Reacher and Joseph Finder's Nick Heller tag-team an interception with disaster while watching baseball on TV in a bar. Dennis Lehane's Patrick Kenzie joins Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch on a cold case in Boston. In the story written by R.L. Stine, with Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, Slappy the ventriloquist dummy is pitted against Aloysius Pendergast in a disturbing psychological thriller. Steve Martini writes with Linda Fairstein to unite Paul Madriani and Alexandra Cooper in a drama about a stolen statue. VERDICT This concept for an anthology is unique, and readers familiar with the characters will jump right into these stories. For new readers, Baldacci includes an introduction to each story that quickly defines the main players. Highly recommended for all!—Susan Carr, Edwardsville P.L., IL
The Associated Press
“In FaceOff, nearly two dozen authors take their most popular characters and have them interact in 11 stories. . . . Familiarity with the authors and their creations is a huge plus in reading this collection, but not knowing a particular character or writer should not be a deterrent. . . . Some great collaborations and stories.”
Hartford Books Examiner
FaceOff is a unique offering in that it teams up some of the genre’s most esteemed authors in stories that allow their beloved protagonists to combine forces. . . . An impressive accomplishment that celebrates the genre in both style and substance. Enthusiasts will dig it for what it is—an abundance of chills and thrills delivered by an inspired lineup of literary heavyweights—while casual readers just might be tempted to pick it up for the sheer novelty of it all. Regardless of motivation, they will find themselves turning pages late into the night. This just may be the optimal summer read.”
The Newark Star-Ledger
“When I settle in with an anthology, it's that same wonderful feeling of being presented with a box of chocolates. You can start at one corner and methodically gorge yourself, or study the chart and pick out the caramels. With an anthology, you can start at page 1 and read through, or peruse the table of contents for favorite writers. If the anthology is good enough, it won't matter. And FaceOff is. In fact, it is brilliant. . . . The teaming up is what makes this anthology so special. It's a fair bet that fans will first turn to their favorite authors, but after devouring those stories, try the others. It is like a wonderful box of chocolates — without the guilt.”
Booklist
“A thriller reader’s ultimate fantasy. How cool would it be if a pair of celebrated crime-fiction protagonists, the creations of different authors, teamed up together on a case, in a story jointly penned by the two writers? Even if it was just 1 pair, it would be pretty darn cool, but 11 pairs? Way cool. . . . Great fun for thriller fans.”
4.5 Star Review RT Book Reviews
"A marvelous anthology. This innovative concept entertains as each author works in concert with another to deliver a story worth every word on the page."
The Chicago Tribune
FaceOff is like a literary Mortal Kombat.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781476762081
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: 6/3/2014
  • Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 1,408
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet 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.

Biography

David Baldacci's authoritative legal thrillers operate on the irresistible notion that a sinister undercurrent threads through the country's most powerful institutions.

While his stories hinge on the complex machinations behind the presidency, the FBI, the Supreme Court and other spheres of influence, Baldacci (a former Washington, D.C.-based attorney) finds his way into a mystery through the eyes of the innocents. Semi-innocents, at least: small players who often don't realize they're players at all end up hunting down answers, and their hunt becomes the reader's.

According to Baldacci, reading John Irving's The World According to Garp convinced him that he wanted to be a novelist. Absolute Power -- in which a thief finds himself accidentally connected to a murder involving the president and the ensuing coverup -- was hardly Irvingesque; but it did begin Baldacci's friendly relationship with the bestseller lists, which has continued over his writing career.

Baldacci's style is brief and plot-driven, but he's not afraid to linger on macabre and vivid details, such as a rosary clenched in a plane crash victim's hand, or hard-learned lessons from a sniper's life (pack your food so you can find it at night, by touch). These small but memorable -- indeed, almost cinematic -- details give his books another layer that distinguishes them from the average potboiler.

Although the author has occasionally departed from his usual fare (examples include the tenderhearted coming-of-age tale Wish You Well and the holiday-themed adventure The Christmas Train), it is high-octane thrillers that are his true stock in trade. Whether it's a taut stand-alone or a new installment in his Camel Club series, readers know when they crack the spine of a new Baldacci book, they're in for an action-packed page-turner.

.

Good To Know

Baldacci was a trial lawyer and a corporate lawyer for nine years in Washington, D.C.

He worked his way through college as a Pinkerton security guard and by washing and detailing 18-wheel trucks.

Baldacci writes under his own name except when published in Italy, where he uses a pseudonym because it is the homeland of his ancestors.

Bill Clinton selected The Simple Truth as his favorite novel of 1998, according to Baldacci's web site.

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    1. Hometown:
      Northern Virginia
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 5, 1960
    2. Place of Birth:
      Richmond, VIrginia
    1. Education:
      B.A. in Political Science, Virginia Commonwealth University, 1982; J.D., University of Virginia, 1986
    2. Website:

Interviews & Essays

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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 11 )
Rating Distribution

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4 Star

(2)

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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2014

    Interesting Adaptation of Characters

    I must confess, I had been looking forward to this publication for many months and perhaps that may lend a little to my reluctance to give this 5 stars. Not a major fan of short stories, this was a bit of an adjustment for me. I read almost all the authors included and follow their character series almost 100%. I found myself feeling shorted at the end of almost every story. I don't think there was ever a point I felt the traits of the individual characters came through the storyline. Their interaction was simply that. It was not characteristic of the writer's character personality in their stand-alone plots. Having said all this, it was still easy reading and enjoyable to turn page after page. I don't think you are going to run out and purchase an ebook from one of the authors you haven't read prior based on the character usage but it helps broaden your knowledge base of fictional characters roaming or literary world!

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2014

    Mystery/Thriller Readers--You Gotta Have It!

    I was not familiar with some of the authors, but now I want to read all of them. The ones I am familiar with==it is fun to see that you know where each one contributed. Great fun to read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 19, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Ever wondered how your favorite literary characters would fair i

    Ever wondered how your favorite literary characters would fair in a Celebrity Death Match with each other? I feel like this collection of short stories was exactly that. Twenty Three of the best thriller writers set out to create unique experiences with characters that all of their fans will know. Faceoff was something I never saw coming and I am terribly happy that I agreed to read this title because I came away with some delightful reads and a few shocks along the way.




    From Michael Connelly's detective hero Harry Bosch coming to my own backyard Boston to run into Dennis Lehane's Patrick Kenzie to the King of all horror madness R.L. Stine creating a crazy story with Lincoln Child and Douglas Preston, these aren't stereotypical stories thrown together because they just read the same. Each story was unique and interesting, while still giving you that jolt of energy and surprise that most thriller junkies have come to expect from these masters of trade. It's very clear that these are masters of their trade form page one to the end.




    That being said, I have to tell you that as someone who normally doesn't read a lot of this genre, I wasn't lost and confused. In fact most of these regular characters I really knew nothing about coming into this book and it never intimidated me. I could tell there were nuances about characters that I missing but I feel like a fan of an author would get it and like that incorporation, while another reader that has never read something by that same author isn't going to be scared off because they don't have prior knowledge of a character. That was the biggest part I was scared of when picking this book up and it was time wasted worrying because I didn't put it down for two days. This is exactly what I expect to find in a book with such a long list of credentials backing it up!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    I don't usually like short stories, but these are the best.

    I don't usually like short stories, but these are the best.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2014

    I feel used.

    I understand that annually, the Thrill Writers' organization produces a book of short stories that is sold to the public to raise funds to support organization activities. I believe there is a competitive aspect to this process, by which member-authors are paired to co-write stories under certain topic guidelines. Ultimately, organization members rate the submissions and determine annual winners. To be blunt, while I appreciated the participating writers' skill, imagination, and partnership, the assigned co-writer pairings and topic guidelines were far-fetched and ridiculous. The end result, 'Faceoff', was weak. I feel that some of my favorite authors who participated in this effort, took my purchase money and used me. While Faceoff may be a good organizational fund-raising activity, it certainly was not worth my time or money. I will not be buying next Year's offering.

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  • Posted July 1, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    A faceoff in hockey occurs when two opposing players face each o

    A faceoff in hockey occurs when two opposing players face each other in a circle or at center ice and attempt to direct the puck to a teammate when the ref tosses it between them. In other circumstances, a faceoff implies one or more forces facing each other, usually in opposition. So at the very least this, the third book to be published on behalf of the International Thrillers Writers, comprising some of the best-known authors of the thriller-mystery genre, whose proceeds fund the organization, is a misnomer.

    It is edited by David Baldacci, who wrote an introduction to each of the 11 short stories included in the volume. The idea was to pair each author’s iconic protagonist with that of another, cooperating in the plot to solve a crime or mystery. It would not be fair to mention some of the authors and not others, since they are of equal stature. Some of the stories are interesting, others less so.

    In facing off, neither the authors nor the protagonist do. They work together, sometimes even beyond the law or ethics. Among the many problems developing stories under the concept includes working out where the two lead characters will operate, since most were domiciled in separate locations, sometimes on opposite sides of the country. Needless to say, the writing and creativity are the result of the top writers in the field. It’s just too bad their hands were tied behind their backs by the premise. One would think with the best minds in the business, a better idea could have been developed.

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  • Posted June 30, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    ARC/Thriller: How do you report your progress on Goodreads whe

    ARC/Thriller: How do you report your progress on Goodreads when you skip all over and read your favorite characters first? This was won on Goodreads for a honest review.

    Of course, I read Pendergast first. I didn't read the RL Stine books so I didn't really understand who the dummy was...or wasn't. I haven't completed the whole Helen series of Pendergast and I was aghast when a major spoiler was spit out! It really torked me off.

    The Jack Reacher story was "two men enter a bar".

    As for the rest of the stories, I either read a book with one character, but not the other. I was usually familiar with the other character. I know who Lucas Davenport is, but not Lincoln Rhyme.

    I wanted to really like this book because the premise was so cool. I felt the stories were too short and I wanted to find a new character to love.

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  • Posted June 27, 2014

    Very good short stories

    First time I have read these Thriller short stories. The lead in to each story was great. At first it was hard to keep track of each person, but the more I read it got easier. Would recommend to all mystery readers

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  • Posted June 26, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    4.5 Stars 'FaceOff' is an completely unique anthology that puts

    4.5 Stars

    'FaceOff' is an completely unique anthology that puts favorite literary heroes from today's bestselling thrillers against one another in a collection of eleven short stories. I found it to be a really fun and easy read - mostly due to the fact that it's a collection of short stories and because of the fantastic writing and fast pace of all the stories. I felt like it was a reader's version of video games that pit superheroes or villains against one another to see who would win. Only this time we're putting top notch main characters from big series against each other! It was thoroughly original - I haven't come across anything like this before in my reading experiences. I'm a huge fan of thrillers and suspense novels, so I was familiar with the majority of the authors and the characters featured, which only added to my enjoyment of the book, because I could cheer on my favorite heroes in each story. Even if you aren't normally a reader of the genre, these stories are packed full of action and suspense - and I feel they appeal to fans of several genres. The quality of the writing was evident in each story. I was pulled into each one right away, which normally doesn't happen for me with short stories. The pace was always fast with a natural flow and fantastic attention to detail - all the things that make these authors and their books so popular. I was happily surprised at how much I enjoyed this book; it definitely exceeded any expectations I may have had. Highly recommended for fans of all genres, especially those who enjoy mystery, suspense, and thrillers.

    Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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