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Jeffery Deaver's "The Weapon," about the limitations of torture, and Ridley Pearson's "Boldt's Broken Angel," which features a race to prevent a cop's death, provide solid bookends to this nifty all-original anthology, the sequel to 2006's Thriller: Stories to Keep You Up All Night. The 23 selections-all by members of International Thriller Writers Inc.-score hits more often than misses. One of the few non-Americans, Spaniard Javier Sierra, might claim the blue ribbon with his tale of impending apocalypse, "The Fifth World." Lisa Jackson's "Vintage Death" keeps the reader guessing and on tenterhooks from start to finish. Marcus Sakey's "The Desert Here and the Desert Far Away" tests the strength of the bonds forged in the current Iraq War when comrades return home. Other contributors include Robert Ferrigno, David Hewson, Jon Land, Carla Neggers and R.L. Stine. In addition to a brief general introduction, Cussler supplies intros to the individual stories. (June)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.