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 ...

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First Thrills: Volume 3

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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 3 contains stories five original stories by:


Jeffery Deaver


Karin Slaughter


Rebecca Cantrell


Gregg Hurwitz

Theo Gangi

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
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: 9781429949019
  • Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
  • Publication date: 6/7/2011
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 88,741
  • File size: 269 KB

Meet the Author

Jeffery  Deaver

A former journalist, folksinger, and attorney, JEFFERY DEAVER is an international number- one bestselling author. His novels have appeared on bestseller lists around the world, including The New York Times, The Times of London, Italy's Corriere della Sera, The Sydney Morning Herald, and the Los Angeles Times. His The Bodies Left Behind was named Novel of the Year by the International Thriller Writers Association, and his Lincoln Rhyme thriller The Broken Window was also nominated for that prize. He's been nominated for six Edgar Awards from the Mystery Writers of America, an Anthony Award, and a Gumshoe Award. He was recently short-listed for the ITV3 Crime Thriller Award for Best International Author.


His book A Maiden's Grave was made into an HBO movie starring James Garner and Marlee Matlin, and his novel The Bone Collector was a feature release from Universal Pictures, starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie. His most recent books are Roadside Crosses, The Bodies Left Behind, The Broken Window, The Sleeping Doll, and More Twisted: Collected Stories, Vol. II. And, yes, the rumors are true: he did appear as a corrupt reporter on his favorite soap opera, As the World Turns. Readers can visit his website at www.jefferydeaver.com.


KARIN SLAUGHTER has written nine books that have sold seventeen million copies in twenty-nine languages. A New York Times bestselling author, Karin's books have debuted at number one in the United Kingdom, Germany, and the Netherlands. She lives in Atlanta, where she is working on her next novel.


REBECCA CANTRELL writes the critically acclaimed Hannah Vogel mystery series set in 1930s Berlin, including A Trace of Smoke and A Night of Long Knives. She lives in Hawaii with her husband, son, and too many geckoes to count. For more details, see www.rebeccacantrell.com.


GREGG HURWITZ is the critically acclaimed, internationally bestselling author of ten thrillers, most recently They're Watching. His books have been short-listed for best novel of the year by International Thriller Writers, nominated for the British Crime Writers' Association's Ian Fleming Steel Dagger, chosen as feature selections for all four major literary book clubs, honored as Book Sense Picks, and translated into seventeen languages.


He has written screenplays for Jerry Bruckheimer Films, Paramount Studios, MGM, and ESPN, developed TV series for Warner Bros. and Lakeshore, acted as consulting producer on ABC's V, written issues of the Wolverine, Punisher, and Foolkiller series for Marvel, and published numerous academic articles on Shakespeare. He has taught fiction writing in the USC English Department, and guest lectured for UCLA, and for Harvard in the United States and around the world. In the course of researching his thrillers, he has sneaked onto demolition ranges with Navy SEALs, swam with sharks in the Galápagos, and gone undercover into mind-control cults. For more information, visit www.gregghurwitz.net.


THEO GANGI is the author of Bang Bang (Kensington Publishing), a hard-boiled New York City-based crime thriller. His stories have appeared in The Greensboro Review and the Columbia University Spectator. His articles and reviews have appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, Inked magazine, and Mystery Scene magazine. Visit him at www.theogangi.com.


LEE CHILD is the number- one internationally bestselling author of the 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.
Jeffery Deaver is the New York Times bestselling author of eighteen novels of suspense, including The Bone Collector, which was made into a feature film. A two-time recipeint of the Ellery Queen Reader's Award for best short story of the year, he has been nominated for five Edgar Awards from the Mystery Writers of America and an Anthony award. Mr. Deaver lives in California and Virginia.
New York Times bestselling and award-winning author REBECCA CANTRELL majored in German, Creative Writing, and History at the Freie Universitaet of Berlin and Carnegie Mellon University. She currently lives in Berlin with her husband and son and is the co-author of the bestselling Order of the Sanguines series with James Rollins.
Gregg Hurwitz is the author of a number of critically acclaimed thrillers, including They're Watching, Trust No One, The Crime Writer and Troubleshooting. International bestsellers, his novels have been finalists for several awards, including the Crime Writers of America Ian Fleming Steel Dagger and the ITW Best Novel of the Year awards. In addition to his novels, he has also written comic books and screenplays, developed television series for Warner Brothers and Lakeshore, published scholarly articles on Shakespeare, and is currently a consulting producer on ABC's "V." He has taught fiction at the University of Southern California and guest lectured for UCLA and Harvard. Hurwitz grew up in the Bay Area and earned his B.A. from Harvard and a master's from Trinity College at Oxford. He lives in Los Angeles, California.
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    1. Also Known As:
      William Jefferies, Jeffery Wilds Deaver
    2. Hometown:
      Washington, D.C.
    1. Date of Birth:
      May 6, 1950
    2. Place of Birth:
      Chicago, Illinois
    1. Education:
      B.A., University of Missouri; Juris Doctor, cum laude, Fordham University School of Law
    2. Website:

Interviews & Essays

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.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 16 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2011

    only one good story

    I thought there was only one good story in the whole book,

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2014

    L

    Loved THE THIEF. The rest of the stories were just o.k.

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  • Posted September 28, 2012

    Good

    was ok

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted June 21, 2011

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    Posted July 27, 2011

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