Killer Year: A Criminal Anthology

Killer Year: A Criminal Anthology

3.1 8
by Lee Child
     
 

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Killer Year is a group of 13 debut crime/mystery/suspense authors whose books will be published in 2007. The graduating class includes such rising stars as Robert Gregory Browne, Toni McGee Causey, Marcus Sakey, Derek Nikitas, Marc Lecard, JT Ellison, Brett Battles, Jason Pinter, Bill Cameron, Sean Chercover, Patry Francis, Gregg Olsen, and David White. Each of the

Overview

Killer Year is a group of 13 debut crime/mystery/suspense authors whose books will be published in 2007. The graduating class includes such rising stars as Robert Gregory Browne, Toni McGee Causey, Marcus Sakey, Derek Nikitas, Marc Lecard, JT Ellison, Brett Battles, Jason Pinter, Bill Cameron, Sean Chercover, Patry Francis, Gregg Olsen, and David White. Each of the short stories displaying their talents are introduced by their Killer Year mentors, some of which include bestselling authors Lee Child, Tess Gerritsen and Jeffrey Deaver, with additional stories by Ken Bruen, Allison Brennan and Duane Swierczynski. Bestselling authors Laura Lippman and MJ Rose contribute insightful essays. Inside you'll read about a small time crook in over his head, a story told backwards with a heroine not to be messed with, a tale of boys and the trouble they will get into over a girl, and many more stories of the highest caliber in murder, mayhem, and sheer entertainment. This amazing anthology, edited by the grandmaster Lee Child, is sure to garner lots of attention and keep readers coming back for more.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Sixteen shades of noir, all interesting, some compelling.Three of Child’s contributors—Ken Bruen, Allison Brennan and Duane Swierczynski—are seasoned pros, but the collection’s gems come from the 13 members of the younger set. Derek Nikitas’s “Runaway,” for instance, is a superbly ambiguous chiller about an adolescent girl who may or may not be a real runaway, or for that matter real. In Toni McGee Causey’s artfully composed “A Failure to Communicate” introduces the indomitable and irresistible Bobbie Faye Sumrall, a steel magnolia whose steel will cause three lowlifes to rue the day they took her hostage. “Perfect Gentleman” by Brett Battles and “Bottom Deal” by Robert Gregory Browne are both lean and taut, expertly crafted in the good old hard-boiled tradition. In Marc Lecard’s sly “Teardown,” a hapless loser arrives in the wrong place at what turns out to be exactly the right time. Gregg Olson’s autobiographical “Crime of My Life” features a surprise ending that actually surprises. The quality is less consistent among the other entries, but, remarkably for a collection this ample, there’s no sign of a clinker. An anthology so worthwhile that it comes within an eyelash of deserving the hyperbole Child (Bad Luck and Trouble, 2007, etc.) heaps on it in his introduction. - Kirkus Reviews

Who doesn't like a good treasure hunt? Who doesn't like discovering new talent on the rise? Both will be found within the covers of KILLER YEAR, an anthology of spanking new talent doing what they do best: getting your blood pumping and holding you breathless on the razor's edge of suspense. Each story is a brilliant, perfectly cut gem—just be careful of those sharp edges. They cut deep to the bone." —James Rollins, New York Times bestselling author of MAP OF BONES and THE JUDAS STRAIN

"I'm for anything that increases writers' odds of enjoying long and successful careers. Let's hope KILLER YEAR does just that, for these writers and generations of writers to come." —Laura Lippman

“The disturbingly good new talent showcased in this volume bodes well for the future of the genre.” — Publishers Weekly

“The mentors’ introductions to these stories, plus brief biographies at the end, should entice readers to longer works by these promising new authors. Even amid a recent rash of anthologies in the genre, this one is well worth a look.” — Library Journal

“Gems come from the 13 [Killer Year] members…. Remarkably for a collection this ample, there’s no sign of a clinker.” — Kirkus Reviews

Publishers Weekly

For this impressive crime anthology, bestseller Child (One Shot) has gathered 13 stories by newcomers and three by veterans. Such established writers as David Morrell, James Rollins, Gayle Lynds, Ken Bruen and Allison Brennan introduce tales by such rising stars as Marcus Sakey, Brett Battles, Robert Gregory Browne, Sean Chercover and Gregg Olsen. Some selections, like Olsen's "The Crime of My Life," hit like a hard swung sap. Battles's "Perfect Gentleman" is more like a knife that slides in easily, then twists in the gut. Browne's "Bottom Deal" features a PI that would be at home in a lineup with Spade and Marlowe. Sakey's "Gravity and Need" lets the reader bleed out slowly, while Chercover's "One Serving of Bad Luck" earns a rueful smile. Not every entry is a winner, but the disturbingly good new talent showcased in this volume bodes well for the future of the genre. (Jan.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
School Library Journal

For this impressive crime anthology, bestseller Child (One Shot) has gathered 13 stories by newcomers and three by veterans. Such established writers as David Morrell, James Rollins, Gayle Lynds, Ken Bruen and Allison Brennan introduce tales by such rising stars as Marcus Sakey, Brett Battles, Robert Gregory Browne, Sean Chercover and Gregg Olsen. Some selections, like Olsen's "The Crime of My Life," hit like a hard swung sap. Battles's "Perfect Gentleman" is more like a knife that slides in easily, then twists in the gut. Browne's "Bottom Deal" features a PI that would be at home in a lineup with Spade and Marlowe. Sakey's "Gravity and Need" lets the reader bleed out slowly, while Chercover's "One Serving of Bad Luck" earns a rueful smile. Not every entry is a winner, but the disturbingly good new talent showcased in this volume bodes well for the future of the genre. (Jan.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312374709
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
01/22/2008
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
6.73(w) x 9.13(h) x 1.33(d)

Read an Excerpt

Killer Year

The Class of Co-opetition

by M. J. Rose

 

 

The point of this collection of stories is to thrill you, the reader. And no one expects you to care that the publishing biz is in dire straits. But to appreciate the spirit in which this collection of stories came together, it helps to understand something about the publishing industry at this point in time.

With margins low, distribution costs rocketing, limited or no marketing budgets for all but the top 15 percent of titles, and little major media interest in all but the biggest authors, book sales drop a little more every year and fewer and fewer authors can live off their fiction efforts.

Ours has become a risk-averse industry that more and more puts all its eggs in the same baskets year in, year out: a few brand-name authors, yet there are more than one thousand novels traditionally published every month.

These days even some of the biggest and the best authors will attest that their job is as much about selling as it is writing, because the support they get from their publishers is no longer enough to spread the word among booksellers, let alone readers. Authors hiring outside publicists and webmasters, buying additional advertising, subsidizing book tours, not just talking about marketing but doing something about it ... all these things are no longer the exception but the rule.

You might think, because of all this, that there's an every-man-for-himself attitude among writers, each one trying to outfox the other for limited ad dollars, blog reviews, special events or promotions. Yet one group of writers who routinely practice backstabbing, larceny, and murder is doing the opposite: working together to promote each other's books.

In the fall of 2004, International Thriller Writers—ITW for short—was created at a mystery and suspense book conference called Bouchercon. Our goal was to celebrate the thriller, enhance the prestige and raise the profile of thrillers, create a community that together could do more, much more, than any one author—or even any one publisher—could for the genre.

Now ITW, with more than five hundred members who have more than two billion books in print, is changing the rules for how books are sold and marketed, and how writers work together.

Superstars have rolled up their sleeves to work alongside mid-list and debut novelists to apply some fresh thinking to a stale industry.

And nowhere is that spirit of co-opetition more evident than in this book. The authors of this collection are in essence in competition with each other; if you look at the statistics, the average "avid" reader only buys 2.5 books a year.

And yet this smart, savvy group of debut authors came up with a plan to give fresh verve and energy to the clichéd phrase "strength in numbers." They've turned it into "creativity in numbers."

To support these debut authors, ITW offered to mentor the Class of '07 because we recognized our same spirit in them: a group of writers willing to band together and help each other rather than view each other as competition. To do something different. And to do it right.

We wanted to help, not just because we were so damned impressed with the creativity of the idea but because once upon a time—be it twenty-five years ago or last year—each and every one of ITW's members was a debut novelist.

And most of us remember every single difficult step of that process. For some of us that means remembering the people who helped us. Or that there was no one to help us.

And how isolating that was.

Wouldn't it be great if ITW as an organization could help the debut authors who are going to be the future of our genre?

So over the summer of 2006, the full ITW board of directors approved the idea to adopt Killer Year 2007 and take some of the tough work out of being a debut novelist by helping each author through their baptism by fire into the publishing world.

Lee Child, Jeff Deaver, Tess Gerritsen, Gayle Lynds, David Morrell, Jim Rollins, Anne Frasier, Douglas Clegg, Duane Swierczynski, Cornelia Read, Harley Jane Kozak, Allison Brennan, Ken Bruen, and Joe R. Lansdale all signed on to be mentors.

This idea of cooperation among potential rivals is a variation on a theme we're beginning to see in other places on the Web, from group blogs to social networking sites like MySpace or cultural hotspots like YouTube.

For an industry losing readers to video games, movies, digital cable, blogs, and a creeping apathy about books, it seems a no-brainer.

But, as ITW member and author Tim Malceny said about the program, "It's no small irony that it took a bunch of writers who probe the darkest side of humanity to see the light."

KILLER YEAR. Copyright © 2008 by Lee Child. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews. For information, address St. Martin's Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10010.

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Killer Year 3.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
This interesting anthology predominantly showcases new authors whose first crime-thriller tale was published in 2007. There are also two well written essays ¿The Class of Co-opetition¿ by MJ Rose explains the state of the publishing industry was in trouble even before the recent economic crunch so much so that grandmasters like Lee Child agreed to mentor talented wannabes Laura Lippman adds a historical ¿Coda¿ to the compilation and what led to it. The entries are for most part strong with no clinkers and prove a delightful way to meet some of the rising stars in the crime-thriller genres. The contributions run the gamut of the two genres with the emphasis on crime. The well written tales include a messenger from Rutgers (see ¿Righteous Son¿ by Dave White) to the wheelchair philosopher who understands that one is the difference between a burden of love and a bond of love (see ¿Gravity of Need¿ by Matthew Sakey) to Jason Pinter¿s on the mark ¿The Point Guard¿ to the knife wielding female in ¿Runaway¿ by Derek Nikitas. Although M.J. Rose paints a gloomy pessimistic state for the industry, she is on target with her optimism that talent abounds as affirmed by this anthology in which surely someone sliced off the top of the glass so that it is no longer half but filled to the brim. --- Harriet Klausner
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