First Thrills: Volume 4

First Thrills: Volume 4

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by John Lescroart, Deb Carlin, John Lutz, Lise S. Baker
     
 

New York Times bestselling author Lee Child and the International Thriller Writers, Inc. present a collection of remarkable stories in First Thrills. From small-town crime stories to sweeping global conspiracies, this is a cross section of today's hottest thriller-writing talent. This original collection is now split into four e-book volumes, packed

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Overview

New York Times bestselling author Lee Child and the International Thriller Writers, Inc. present a collection of remarkable stories in First Thrills. From small-town crime stories to sweeping global conspiracies, this is a cross section of today's hottest thriller-writing talent. This original collection is now split into four e-book volumes, packed with murder, mystery, and mayhem!



First Thrills: Volume 4 contains stories seven original stories by:

John Lescroart

Alex Kava and Deb Carlin

John Lutz and Lise S. Baker

CJ Lyons

Cynthia Robinson

Marc Paoletti
Bill Cameron

Editorial Reviews

The Fan Letter by Lee Child

They say the past is another country, and in my case it really was: provincial England at the end of the fifties and the start of the sixties, the last gasp of the post-war era, before it surrendered to the tectonic shift sparked by the Beatles. My family was neither rich nor poor, not that either condition had much meaning in a society with not much to buy and not much to lack. We accumulated toys at the rate of two a year: one on our birthdays, and one at Christmas. We had a big table radio (which we called "the wireless") in the dining room, and in the living room we had a black and white fishbowl television, full of glowing tubes, but there were only two channels, and they went off the air at ten in the evening, after playing the National Anthem, for which some families stood up, and sometimes we saw a double bill at the pictures on a Saturday morning, but apart from that we had no entertainment.

So we read books. As it happens I just saw some old research from that era which broke down reading habits by class (as so much was categorized in England at that time) and which showed that fully fifty percent of the middle class regarded reading as their main leisure activity. The figure for skilled workers was twenty-five percent, and even among laborers ten percent turned to books as a primary choice.

Not that we bought them. We used the library. Ours was housed in a leftover WW2 Nissen hut (the British version of a Quonset hut) which sat on a bombed-out lot behind a church. It had a low door and a unique warm, musty, dusty smell, which I think came partly from the worn floorboards and partly from the books themselves, of which there were not very many. I finished with the children's picture books by the time I was four, and had read all the chapter books by the time I was eight, and had read all the grown-up books by the time I was ten.

Not that I was unique - or even very bookish. I was one of the rough kids. We fought and stole and broke windows and walked miles to soccer games, where we fought some more. We were covered in scabs and scars. We had knives in our pockets - but we had books in our pockets too. Even the kids who couldn't read tried very hard to, because we all sensed there was more to life than the gray, pinched, post-war horizons seemed to offer. Traveling farther than we could walk in half a day was out of the question - but we could travel in our heads ... to Australia, Africa, America ... by sea, by air, on horseback, in helicopters, in submarines. Meeting people unlike ourselves was very rare ... but we could meet them on the page. For most of us, reading - and imagining, and dreaming - was as useful as breathing.

My parents were decent, dutiful people, and when my mother realized I had read everything the Nissen hut had to offer - most of it twice - she got me a library card for a bigger place the other side of the canal. I would head over there on a Friday afternoon after school and load up with the maximum allowed - six titles - which would make life bearable and get me through the week. Just. Which sounds ungrateful - my parents were doing their best, no question, but lively, energetic kids needed more than that time and place could offer. Once a year we went and spent a week in a trailer near the sea - no better or worse a vacation than anyone else got, for sure, but usually accompanied by lashing rain and biting cold and absolutely nothing to do.

The only thing that got me through one such week was Von Ryan's Express by David Westheimer. I loved that book. It was a WW2 prisoner-of-war story full of tension and suspense and twists and turns, but its biggest "reveal" was moral rather than physical - what at first looked like collaboration with the enemy turned out to be resistance and escape. I read it over and over that week and never forgot it.

Then almost forty years later, when my own writing career was picking up a head of steam, I got a fan letter signed by a David Westheimer. The handwriting was shaky, as if the guy was old. I wondered, could it be? I wrote back and asked, are you the David Westheimer? Turned out yes, it was. We started a correspondence that lasted until he died. I met him in person at a book signing I did in California, near his home, which gave me a chance to tell him how he had kept me sane in a rain-lashed trailer all those years ago. He said he had had the same kind of experience forty years before that. Now I look forward to writing a fan letter to a new author years from now ... and maybe hearing my books had once meant something special to him or her. Because that's what books do - they dig deeper, they mean more, they stick around forever.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781429949057
Publisher:
Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date:
06/07/2011
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
222,796
File size:
281 KB

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

JOHN LESCROART is a New York Times bestselling author of twenty-one novels, including most recently Treasure Hunt, which is the third book in the San Francisco–based Wyatt Hunt series. His books have been translated into seventeen languages in more than seventy-five countries, and his short stories have been included in any anthologies.

His first novel, Sunburn, won the San Francisco Foundation's Joseph Henry Jackson Award for best novel by a California author, and Dead Irish and The 13th Juror were nominees for the Shamus and Anthony Best Mystery Novel, respectively. Guilt was a Reader's Digest Select Edition choice, and The Suspect, chosen by the American Author's Association as its 2007 Novel of the Year, was also the 2007 One Book Sacramento choice of the Sacramento Library Foundation.

ALEX KAVA has built a reputation writing psychological thrillers full of authentic details that blend fact with fiction. In Kava's words, "If readers can't tell where the facts left off and the fiction begins, I've done my job." She is the New York Times bestselling author of seven novels featuring Special FBI Agent Maggie O'Dell, as well as two stand- alone thrillers. Before writing novels full-time, Alex Kava spent fifteen years in advertising, marketing, and public relations. She divides her time between Omaha, Nebraska, and Pensacola, Florida.



DEB CARLIN spent twenty-five years in the hospitality business, ranging from bars and restaurants to hotels, retiring with a stellar fifteen years at Darden Restaurants, where she helped write technical manuals and nonfiction business articles. She is the owner of eWebFocus, where she consults on business strategies for online presences. Her foray with After Dark is her first fiction endeavor, and she has plans to continue.

JOHN LUTZ is the author of more than forty novels and 250 short stories and articles. He is a past president of both Mystery Writers of America and Private Eye Writers of America. Among his awards are the MWA Edgar, the PWA Shamus, The Trophee 813 Award for best mystery short-story collection translated into the French language, the PWA Life Achievement Award, and the Short Mystery Fiction Society's Golden Derringer Lifetime Achievement Award. His SWF Seeks Same was made into the hit movie Single White Female, and his The Ex was made into the HBO original movie of the same title, for which he co- authored the screenplay. His latest book is the suspense novel Urge To Kill.



LISE S. BAKER is a licensed private investigator and a member of the World Association of Detectives. She has been nominated nine years in a row for California Investigator of the Year by CALI (California Association of Licensed Investigators). Her award-winning novel The Loser's Club was inspired by John Lutz's fictional detective, Fred Carver. Collaborating with Lutz on the short story "Eye of the Storm" is a dream come true for this writer/detective.

Currently, Detective Baker is working on a murder case for the Northern California Innocence Project. This is in addition to running her agency, L.S. Baker Investigations, which specializes in fraud investigations.

As a pediatric ER doctor, CJ LYONS has lived the life she writes about. In addition to being an award-winning medical suspense author, CJ is a nationally known presenter and keynote speaker. Her first novel, Lifelines (Berkley Books, March 2008), received praise as a "breathtakingly fast-paced medical thriller" from Publishers Weekly, was reviewed favorably by the Baltimore Sun and Newsday, named a Top Pick by RT Book Review, and became a national bestseller. Her second novel, Warning Signs, was released January 2009, and the third, Urgent Care, followed in October 2009. To learn more about CJ and her work, go to www.cjlyons.net.

CYNTHIA ROBINSON lives in San Francisco. She is the author of the Max Bravo series of black comedy mysteries. St. Martin's Press is publishing The Dog Park Club in 2010 and The Barbary Galahad in 2011.

MARC PAOLETTI is the author of Scorch, a thriller that draws upon his experiences as a Hollywood pyrotechnician, and co-author of The Last Vampire and The Vampire Agent, the first two books of the Annals of Alchemy and Blood series. His acclaimed short fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies, and, as a journalist, he has interviewed such notable figures as Sting and Beatles producer Sir George Martin. He has also published comic books and written award-winning advertising copy. For more information, visit www.marcpaoletti.com.

BILL CAMERON is the critically acclaimed author of the dark, gritty Portland-based mysteries Lost Dog, Chasing Smoke, and Day One. His stories have appeared in Spinetingler, Killer Year, and Portland Noir.


LEE CHILD is the number-one internationally bestselling author of the Jack Reacher thrillers, including the New York Times bestsellers The Enemy, One Shot, The Hard Way, and the number-one bestselling novels Bad Luck and Trouble and Nothing to Lose. His debut, Killing Floor, won both the Anthony and the Barry Awards for Best First Mystery, and The Enemy won both the Barry and the Nero Awards for Best Novel. Child, a native of England and a former television director, lives in New York City.

Lise S. Baker, the winner of the 1998 SMP/PWA Contest, owns and operates her own private detective agency. She lives in Granite Bay, California.


CYNTHIA ROBINSON ’s stories have appeared in OpiumMagazine.com and the First Thrills anthology. Nominated for the Best New American Voices Award, she lives in San Francisco. She is the author of The Dog Park Club and The Barbary Dogs.
As a pediatric ER doctor, CJ LYONS has lived the life she writes about. In addition to being an award-winning medical suspense author, CJ is a nationally known presenter and keynote speaker. Her first novel, Lifelines (Berkley Books, March 2008), received praise as a “breathtakingly fast-paced medical thriller” from Publishers Weekly, was reviewed favorably by the Baltimore Sun and Newsday, named a Top Pick by RT Book Review, and became a national bestseller. Her second novel, Warning Signs, was released January 2009, and the third, Urgent Care, followed in October 2009.
ALEX KAVA’s four novels featuring FBI profiler Maggie O’Dell have been published in 18 countries and have appeared on numerous bestseller lists. Her most recent novel is One False Move. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and the Mystery Writers of America. Alex divides her time between Omaha, Nebraska and Florida.

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Brief Biography

Hometown:
El Macero, California
Date of Birth:
January 14, 1948
Place of Birth:
Houston, Texas
Education:
B.A. in English with Honors, UC Berkeley, 1970

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