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Watchlist: Two Serial Thrillers in One Killer Book

Watchlist: Two Serial Thrillers in One Killer Book

3.4 52
by Jeffery Deaver, Joseph Finder, Lee Child, Linda Barnes, Lisa Scottoline

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From International Thriller Writers comes Watchlist: two powerful novellas featuring the same thrill cast of characters in one major suspenseful package. The Chopin Manuscript and then The Copper Bracelet were a collaboration by some of the world’s greatest thriller writers, including Lee Child, Joseph Finder, Lisa Scottoline, and


From International Thriller Writers comes Watchlist: two powerful novellas featuring the same thrill cast of characters in one major suspenseful package. The Chopin Manuscript and then The Copper Bracelet were a collaboration by some of the world’s greatest thriller writers, including Lee Child, Joseph Finder, Lisa Scottoline, and Jeffery Deaver, who conceived the characters and set the plot in motion. The other authors each wrote a chapter and Deaver then completed what he started, bringing both novellas to their startling conclusions.

In the first novella, The Chopin Manuscript, former war crimes investigator Harold Middleton possesses a previously unknown score by Frederic Chopin. But he is unaware that, locked within its handwritten notes, lies a secret that now threatens the lives of thousands of Americans. As he races from Poland to America to uncover the mystery of the manuscript, Middleton will be accused of murder, pursued by federal agents, and targeted by assassins. But the greatest threat will come from a shadowy figure from his past: the man known only as Faust.
  Harold Middleton returns in The Copper Bracelet–the explosive sequel to The Chopin Manuscript–as he’s drawn into an international terror plot that threatens to send India and Pakistan into full-scale nuclear war. Careening from Nice to London and Moscow to Kashmir to prevent nuclear disaster, Middleton is unaware that his prey has changed and the act of terror is far more diabolical than he knows. Will he discover the identity of the Scorpion in time to halt an event that will pit the United States, China, and Russia against each other at the brink of World War III?


Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Fans of the TV series 24 will best appreciate this two-part serial thriller written by 22 members of International Thriller Writers. Based on an idea by Deaver (The Broken Window), who provides the opening and closing chapters of each segment, the volume recounts the adventures of middle-aged Harold Middleton, an ex-U.S. military intelligence officer. In part one, “The Chopin Manuscript,” the discovery of a previously unknown Chopin score leads to murders, betrayals, and frantic efforts to stop a villain code-named Faust from carrying out a terrorist outrage. Part two, “The Copper Bracelet,” sets Middleton and his allies on the track of a Kashmiri planning the assassination of the U.S. secretary of state. While the contributors include many of the biggest names in the genre (Lee Child, Joseph Finder, Gayle Lynds, S.J. Rozan, etc.), the constraints of the form all but assure homogenized prose, thin characters, and stock action scenes atypical of their solo work. (Jan.)

Product Details

Vanguard Press
Publication date:
Sold by:
Hachette Digital, Inc.
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File size:
546 KB

Meet the Author

International Thriller Writers, Inc. (ITW) was founded in 2004 and is the largest group of thriller writers in the world, representing over two billion books in print, with over one hundred New York Times bestselling authors on its roster. ITW is an innovator in creating unusual marketing opportunities to promote its author’s books and expand the reach of the genre. Founded by Gayle Lynds and David Morrell, the board of directors has included such luminaries as Lee Child, Tess Gerritsen, James Rollins, Jon Land, Carla Neggers, MJ Rose, Douglas Preston, and David Dun. ITW’s first anthology, the bestselling Thriller, edited by James Patterson, has sold over 150,000 copies.

Contributors Include:

Jeffery Deaver Linda Barnes Brett Battles Lee Child David Corbett Joseph Finder Jim Fusilli John Gilstrap James Grady David Hewson David Liss Gayle Lynds John Ramsey Miller P.J. Parrish Ralph Pezzullo MJ Rose S.J. Rozan Lisa Scottoline Jenny Siler Erica Spindler Peter Spiegelman

Brief Biography

Washington, D.C.
Date of Birth:
May 6, 1950
Place of Birth:
Chicago, Illinois
B.A., University of Missouri; Juris Doctor, cum laude, Fordham University School of Law

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Watchlist 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 52 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This two-in-one book features a new character set created just for this. That's what makes this book so refreshing because the storyline is completely new, nothing is borrowed from the characters featured in the best-sellers by those authors. There is very fast paced action from the first chapter to the last. In the middle though, these authors did 'play game' with each other. A character created by one preceding author was promptly removed by the next (author). It brings up the literal meaning of character assassination. Or one character introduced as the good guy would be turned and become a sinister one. So for a while, it really gets me guessing and wondering if the book(s) can have a logically plausible ending. Thankfully to my amazement, Deaver was able to sum up everything and put every character in order in the final chapters with his customary plot twist and panache. The book(s) is so enjoyable to read that I could not put it down once I grasp the flow of the story after the beginning introduction of the various characters. (So be warned, don't start the book if you don't have the time to indulge). Personally I like the new theme about international war criminals and terrorists here. I hope that this book can become a whole new series under Deaver, or from any of the other authors.
Justpeachy1 More than 1 year ago
My Synopsis: Watchlist: Two Serial Thrillers in One Killer Book by Jeffery Deaver This book isn't your typical thriller. Based on an idea by New York Times bestselling author, Jeffery Deaver, 22 writers from the International Thriller Writers group came together to produce this, two-part serial thriller. Each author, famous in their genre takes a chapter to develop of the story of Harold Middleton, former military intelligence officer, who has returned to his first love of music by cataloging and authenticating musical manuscripts. In the first part of this serial thriller called "The Chopin Manuscript", Middleton must stop a terrorist plot involving a Chopin composition that has never been seen by the public. The villain, known as "Faust" is someone Middleton has dealt with in the past. This story brings Middleton's old crew all back together again when the manuscript causes murder and betrayal. In the second part of the thriller, "The Copper Bracelet", Middleton's team must stop an assassination attempt, on the Secretary of State while preventing an all out war between India and Pakistan. If you like 24 you'll love this book! My Thoughts: I was really interested to see how this one was going to pan out. I had never read a serial thriller before, where more than one author was writing the book. I enjoyed the fact that Jeffery Deaver both opened and closed each section of the thriller. This gave it more continuity and showed Deaver's vision for this thriller. It was really interesting to see if you could pick out the different styles of authors like Lisa Scottoline and Lee Childs. It didn't seem like 14 different stories it was very cohesive and flowed well. There were obvious differences with each writer but knowing in the beginning it was a new author writing each chapter just made it that much more interesting. The story itself was reminiscent of the wildly popular television series, 24. Harold Middleton was a wonderful character with a lot of depth. When I was reading the book I was imagining someone like Harrison Ford playing the role of Middleton. Middleton as a character, was loyal and patriotic and believed in ridding the world of men who seek to destroy it for their own purposes. The book delved into a lot of terroristic activity and showed the mentality behind the people who get involved in these sorts of crimes. Inevitably, it all boiled down to power and money and how they could benefit from ruining the world as we know it. Supporting characters in the book like Middleton's daughter, Charley and his team of crack intelligence officers helped to create an atmosphere of strong ties and loyalty within a group who work together and in some cases die together. Middleton uses his ties from ex- military days to bring about the conclusion of the story and leaves readers wondering what is going to happen to him next. I enjoyed the fast pace and the suspense of the novel and would definitely recommend it to my readers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Unlike some composite books where every chapter is written by a different author, this book suffers from a lack of a plot outline. The first book suffers from an especially egregious mish-mash of writing styles that is really irritating to read. If you really like a tight and well-disciplined plot, this book is not recommended.
PennyroyalSP More than 1 year ago
It takes a little bit to get into the writing styles of each contributor. The effort is worth it.
Dillydog More than 1 year ago
This idea was good in theory, but did not meet the mark for me. I found the plot confusing at best, the characters taking too many turns and the styles often not to my liking.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is written by many authors each writing a chapter to make up a story line. It is well written. I thought it was a little hard to get into at first, but then it starts to take twists and turns with every chapter as each author writes. I think you will enjoy reading this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The premise is interesting but it was difficult to find the rhythm with so many different styles of writing.
Wiliam_Maltese More than 1 year ago
TWO BOOKS FOR THE PRICE OF ONE … STILL NOT WORTH IT It sounded like an interesting idea, had by one of my favorite mystery writers, Jeffery Deaver: One International Thriller writer starts writing a novella but hands it off to another International Thriller writer at the end of a chapter … who hands it off to another mystery writer … who hands it off to another mystery writer … handings-off continuing until the novella is finished. Then, the process starts again on a second novella until its completion. Both bound up in the same double-book. Alas, for this reader, neither novella worked all that well. “The Chopin Manuscript” was just the tale one more manuscript, with one more encoded text, containing one more secret that could kill a whole lot of people. With a cast of seeming thousands, of myriad nationalities, representing a plethora of governments; all out to get access to the manuscript and its secret. So many characters, in fact, this reader needed a scorecard to keep track. Way too many plots and subplots, too many apparent good guys turning out not to be good, and bad guys turning out not to be so bad. Too many characters just too damned clever for their own good. In short: Too many authors, without a well-defined initial outline, ending up way too many cooks in this literary (and I use the word loosely) kitchen. “The Copper Bracelet” was no better. More nefarious and arcane clues to bad things, only this time inscribed on a copper bracelet, or, as it turns out, on several of them. More countless characters, many of them left over from “The Chopin Manuscript” (not killed), but five years later. Another plethora of bad guys and bad governments. Repeat myriad locations: China, Kashmir, Pakistan, India, the U.S…. Too many twists and turns, as regards what’s going on, as each author, at the helm for his chapter, tried to be more clever than the last, and the next, by adding his own complicated, more often than not confusing, twists and turns on events. People, bad and good, way too clever in deciphering insights from clues so esoteric as to have anyone wondering, “How in the hell did they derive THAT from THAT?” Too many instances of mysterious “information sources” suddenly able to supply key data necessary to keep the story going. More instances of good guys turning bad, and bad guys turning not so bad. And a dead person, not really dead, thrown in, like the proverbial kitchen sink. I knew these two novellas weren’t holding my interest when I kept wondering when they would end, since they COULD HAVE ended, and SHOULD HAVE ended, but I knew there were yet more twists to go, more bad guys really good, more good guys really bad, because there were still twenty or more pages for me to read until the end. It was like sitting in a movie, everything seemingly over and done, except there were those extra fifteen minutes to go when I always knew the monster had yet to be revealed as not dead at all but ready and able to head right on into the franchise’s next sequel. I wish this work had been better. I’m sorry that it wasn’t. Like collages in the art industry, that can look as if they’ve been composed by the artist throwing things haphazardly at the canvas, I came away thinking THE WATCHLIST was the literary (and, again, I use that word loosely) equivalent.
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